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Phyllis Anne Ausk, 86

| January 24, 2024 2:00 AM

Phyllis Anne (Faber) Ausk passed away peacefully on Jan. 14, 2024, after a five-year battle against cancer.  She was a strong, spunky woman.  Phyllis was married to Kenneth Lyle Ausk, and was mother to three daughters: Keni, Susan, and Theresa.  She lived an adventurous 86 years.

Phyllis was born on July 25, 1937, to Paul and Alvina (Luoma) Faber in Havre and raised on the 2F Faber Ranch in the Bear Paw Mountains.  She received her early education at the Faber School, a one  room schoolhouse that she often rode her horse to and graduated from Havre Central High School.

She and Ken wed in in 1957, and the family followed his career as an electrician across Montana before settling in Columbia Falls in the late 1960s.  Ken often traveled for work while Phyllis kept everything running smoothly on the home front and raising three girls wasn’t always easy.

Ken and Phyllis were blessed with 57 years of love and dedication to one another, sharing many common interests including raising cows, riding horses in the Bob Marshall Wilderness, hunting, cross-country skiing, hiking, traveling to Alaska and Hawaii numerous times, and exploring the beautiful country off the beaten path before Ken passed away in 2014.  They rarely drove straight home; they always had to “take the long way!”  Mom was also an excellent and passionate bridge player and never missed an opportunity to play with her friends Marian, Mamie, Shirley, Eda, and the rest of the gang.  Phyllis worked at First Security Bank (now Three Rivers) for many years and always greeted her customers with a friendly smile.

Phyllis was a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and friend.  She joins her parents Paul and Alvina, husband Ken, brothers Don and Jim Faber, sister and brother-in-law Jean and Roger Hickel, and sister-in-law Ginger Faber.  She is survived by daughter Keni and husband Ralph Hopkins, grandson Taylor and wife Denise; daughter Susan and husband Wade Hodgson, granddaughter Brandy and husband Rudy Horvey and children Tyson, Taya, and Jack; grandson Kyle and wife Amanda and children Caden and Cora; daughter Theresa and husband Tom Kolczak; brother John Faber; and several nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Join us for funeral services on Friday, Jan. 26, at 11 a.m. at Saint Richard’s Catholic Church, 1210 9th Street West in Columbia Falls, followed by a luncheon.  You are invited to go to https://www.columbiamortuary.com/tributes to offer condolences, share memories and view Phyllis’ tribute wall.  Arrangements are entrusted to Columbia Mortuary.

Please direct donations in Phyllis’ honor to Back Country Horsemen, PO Box 1192, Columbia Falls, MT 59912.  Phyllis was immensely proud of Back Country Horsemen, formed in 1973 in the Flathead Valley by her husband Ken, Roland (and Jane) Cheek, Dennis Swift, and Dulane Fulton, out of concern about the future of stock use in the Bob Marshall Wilderness. From those early efforts, BCH has grown into a national organization dedicated to keeping America’s trails open for recreational stock use.  It has been active for over 50 years and has over 14,000 members in 32 states.

The family of Phyllis Ausk would like to express our immense gratitude to her compassionate doctors and staff, especially Jose Ness, Dawn Murray, Alexis Harrison, and Marisa Hoyne, and the dedicated staff at The Retreat and Buffalo Hills Terrace, where Mom called home for the last year, for their kind, loving, and respectful care.

Phyllis will be greatly missed by her family and friends.  Her family asks that if Phyllis touched your life, pause for a moment to remember her fondly.

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