Carol Rinehart of Colona, Colo., loved for her bright, beautiful smile and bountiful heart, passed away on July 5, 2014 in her home at Deerhart Ranch, surrounded by family. An invaluable wife and companion, she supported her husband throughout 51 adventurous years of marriage. Selfless in her dedication to her three children, whom she showered with never-ending praise, she was loved by many more as a surrogate mother, offering earfuls of caring advice and warm hugs.
Carol was born to Genevieve and Gordon MacDonald on the colorful autumn day of October 5, 1943. She married Dixie Rinehart in 1963 in Sun Valley, California and moved to Dover, Delaware.
Besides her generous spirit, Carol was known for her fine craftsmanship of traditional Native American garments and accessories and modern American quilts. She created finely beaded buckskin clothes, moccasins, fans, hair ties and earrings for her family and friends. She also produced all sizes and designs of quilts from an extensive collection of fine cloths. Plus, she and Dixie crafted their children’s costumes each halloween and for their many school plays and music performances.
Carol was devoted to her family, who moved to Aspen, Colorado in 1974. She volunteered for school field trips and projects, helped with family businesses like Morning Star Tipi and Morning Star Trading Post, and took part-time jobs as a laundromat attendant and public bus driver. She was also a longtime volunteer at the Aspen Thrift Store, which supported various education and community causes.
Her children’s friends and her nieces considered her as a second mother, who was always ready to feed and love them, like her own. A cheerful lady, she was also a great hostess, welcoming relatives and visitors to her home throughout each year, first mostly Cheyenne, Navajo and other native friends and later international friends. Carol’s caring personality shone the strongest through her prayers and spiritual strength. A sincere believer in Jesus Christ, she was also a ceremonial person with Northern Cheyenne ways like fasting at Bear Butte and Native American Church ways.
She and Dixie moved to Colona, Colorado in 1993. They traveled extensively throughout their marriage to visit relatives and friends, participate in ceremonies and experience the culture and entertainment of each community. They made frequent road trips across many states and journeyed over the oceans to Hawaii, England, Scotland, Korea, Japan and Mexico.
She is survived by her husband Dixie Rinehart; three children and their spouses, Tina and Barclay Purcell, Tanya and Yasuo Ishikawa, and Scott and Natascha Rinehart; grandchildren, Abigail and William Purcell, Canyon Ishikawa, and Simon Rinehart; and sisters, Donna Prestel and Diane Franks (and husband Ray Franks) as well as their children and grandchildren.
A private funeral was at the Colona Cemetary on July 8. A memorial service and celebration of Carol’s life will be scheduled for this autumn at the Deerhart Ranch in Colona, Colorado. Expressions of condolence can be sent to the Rinehart Family, 37055 Highway 550 South, Montrose, CO 81403.