RONAN — Evelyn Lorraine (Phyllis Ann) Lester passed peacefully at her home in Ronan on December 25, 2019, at the age of 83.
Phyllis was born in May 1936 to Harry and Agnes Brown. She attended school in Ronan, Ursuline Catholic school in St. Ignatius and pursued a degree in child psychology at SKC. She married Loyal D. Lester the love of her life in the early fifties and started a family. After moving all over the state following road construction, the family always came back to the reservation. Over that period, the couple welcomed seven children into their home and settled in the Arlee area. In the eighties, mom and dad divorced but remained very close and loving friends until his passing in 1999.
Phillis was an accomplished cribbage, Scrabble and card player and enjoyed putting puzzles together. She enjoyed her soap The Young and the Restless and did not like to be disturbed while watching her show. The hours spent playing games with her children and grandchildren that visited made her heart happy and brought her many smiles. In the sixties, she was a drummer in a country western band with her sister in-law and spent several years playing music at all the local honkytonks. Mom was a proud member of the Salish Kootenai Tribes and loved debating local and national issues.
While pursuing a degree at SKC she provided foster care for tribal children in need of care. Phyllis adored her children and grandchildren, and kept track of every one of them. She loved visiting, recalling and sharing the family history.
Mom is dancing with dad amongst the stars now.
Phyllis is survived by her children; Rose Hawkins (Gary) of Dodson Mt, Vickie Whitworth of Niarada Mt, Forrest (Vickie) of Evaro, Susan Kallis (Tim) of Potlatch Idaho, Wayde Lester of Sun Valley Idaho, Wes (Laura) of Lolo Mt, and Jason Noel Lester of Ronan Mt. Grandchildren: Stephanie Markuson of Malta Mt, Trisha (Mike) McCorkie of Malta Mt, Jaden (Cassandra) Markuson of Pahrump Nevada, Nickie (Larry) Nicholas of Valley Creek Mt, Jennifer(Richard) Cramer of Ronan Mt., Mike (Marie) Lester of Missoula Mt, , Wyatt (Melody) Lester of Ventura Ca., Justin (Lia) Gergen of Evaro Mt., Adrian Gergen of Potlatch Idaho., Jerimiah Lester of Missoula Mt., Ethan Lester of Camarillo Ca., and Tyler Lester of Camarillo Ca. and many great-grandchildren. Siblings; Laura (Dale) Decker of Marysville WA. and Dorothy Webster of Ronan.
She is preceded in death by her father Harry Brown, Mother Agnes Brown (Gardner), brothers Harry Brown, Melvin Brown and Ronnie Brown, Sisters Lenore Padilla June Conner, Erma Olguin, grandson: Douglas Hawkins, Great-grandson Spencer Jordan Barnes.
Mom was a very private person and requested no public service. A family memorial will be held later in the spring. Thank you to Partners in Healthcare, Father C. Hightower, The American Cancer Society and Montana Cancer Treatment Center. Please make donations and contributions to the American Cancer Society, a gift that keeps giving.
Messages of condolences may be shared with the family at www.shriderthompson.com. Arrangements are under the care of Shrider-Thompson Funeral Home.