A Celebration of Life for longtime Lamar resident Vivian Ausmus was held at 2:00PM on Friday, December 16, 2011 at the Lamar Christian Church with Ian Blacker and Ray Matteson co-officiating. Interment followed at
Visitation for Vivian was held on Thursday, December 15, 2011 from 1:00PM until 7:00PM at the Peacock Family Chapel.
Vivian was born on September 3, 1922 in
County to Jacob Franklin and Gertrude Viola (Marriott) Ausmus and passed away on December 13, 2011 at his home in Lamar with his family by his side.
He is preceded in death by his wife; Miona Ausmus, his parents, and brother-in-law - Wilbur Reyher.
Vivian is survived by his sons; Monte (Carol) Ausmus, Gregory Ausmus and Rodney (Debbie) Ausmus all of Lamar, grandchildren; Alicia (Kevin) Ridder, Tara (Eloy) Orozco, Bethany (Jeff) Schultz,
Lydia, Amy and Sarah Ausmus. He is also survived by his great-grandchildren; Malea Orozco, Brandon Orozco, Alexa Ridder, Reagan Schultz, and the unborn baby Ridder. sister-in-law; Rachel Reyher of Greeley as well as his nephews; Kenneth and Leonard and a niece; Chris. Numerous other relatives and a host of friends also survive.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Lamar Area Hospice and/or the Lamar Christian Church either direct or in care of the funeral home office.
Vivian's Life, in part
Vivian Ausmus, the only child born to Jacob Franklin and Gertrude Viola (Marriott) Ausmus, was born on September 3, 1922 at the family home 19 mile south of
On April 19, 1944 he married his sweetheart from Wiley,
Colorado, Miona Reyher. They were married in Garden City,
Kansas To this marriage 3 sons were born; Monte Lee on December 5.1948, Gregory Lynn on July 16, 1952, and Rodney Lane on September 17, 1963.
On April 25, 1961 his father, Jacob known as Jake, passed away and on February 12, 1991 his mother, Gertrude known as Gertie, passed away.
Vivian lost the love of his life, Miona, on July 7, 2010. They had been married for 66 years.
Vivian died on December 13, 2011 at his home with his sons by his bedside. He is survived by his three sons, Monte (Carol), Greg and Rod (Debbie). Six beautiful granddaughters, Alicia (Kevin) Ridder, Tara (Eloy) Orozco, Bethany (Jeff) Schultz,
Lydia, Amy and Sarah Ausmus. Grandchildren Malea and Brandon Orozco, Alexia Ridder, Reagan Schultz and the unborn baby Ridder.
Writing about a life of 89 years in few pages doesn't do the life lived justice, but here are a few snap shots of a life well lived.
When Dad was a boy he attended the
School and later the
School. Though he was an only child, he had a lot of cousins to play with at school and at home. Many evenings while the parents were having the old fashioned "Social" at the school, the kids would be outside playing. The entertainment was simple: Hide and seek among the Yucca plants and the sage brush, learning to throw the lasso at the other kids or any other object they could find, racing their horses. The schools were about the only meeting place for miles and the parents, the students and the extended families would gather often. Occasionally, a bottle of bootleg whiskey would be found by the kids under the Yucca plants. They would pour it out and then wait to see who had hidden it there.
The Ausmus and the Marriott clans lived within a mile of each other and they had lots of children among them. From these two clans two of Ausmus brothers married two of the Marriott sisters and one of the Ausmus sisters
married the Marriott brother. Over the years, others were confused when the family tried to explain how they were related to their friends.
Dad talked about his days on the dryland. How his grandfather Ausmus built a water tank to hold water from the windmill to water the garden for the winter food supplies. The windmill had a generator which charged the batteries on the radio so that they could listen to their favorite radio programs at night.
During the 1930's there was little rain. Soon the wind started to blow and with the bare ground, the dirt storms started. In the middle of the day the chickens would go back to the roost, cows would come back to the corral, and they couldn't see across the yard.
The windows were covered with wet cloth to keep the dirt out and when the storm was over everything in the house needed cleaning. The men and boys would go looking for their missing livestock and dig out machinery which had been buried by the blowing dirt.
In 1937 Dad and his parents move to an irrigated farm 2 mile west of Lamar and a year later to their farm at Kornman, raising alfalfa, corn and wheat, while having a herd of hogs.
Dad was working for National Alfalfa driving the hay chopper when he and Mom got together. Mom was such a beautiful lady. As Mom wrote in her life story in 1995: "What attracted me to my husband: He was skinny with red wavy hair and he smoked. He had a sporty Ford two seated car that would burn tractor gas." During WWII car gas was rationed, but tractor gas was not rationed.
Dad and Mom were married on April 19, 1944, after 2 1/2 years of courtship. They went to Garden City,
Kansas with their friends Wayne and Loretta. The weather was wet and rainy all the way to Garden City. The Justice of the Peace married Mom and Dad first and then Wayne and Loretta last. The Justice got the names mixed up and Dad ended up being married to Loretta as well as Mom. The Justice got the names right on the marriage certificate so Dad was only legally married to Mom. Every year on or near their anniversary the Davis and the Ausmus families celebrated with a meal. The story of Dad marrying both Mom and Loretta was repeated sometime during the evening.
Dad along with Mom farmed the Guttridge farm and the Barnard farm at Komman. Dad was to be drafted in February of 1945 so he joined the Navy. He had to give up farming for almost 3 years while he served in the Navy. He was sent to boot camp at the Great Lakes Navel Training
Grounds close to Chicago, Illinois and then went to
San Diego. In August of 1945 Dad was on the USS Miller going to
Japan. The war ended before his ship got to Japan so they turn around and came back to port in
San Diego. Dad was always bothered by the waste of food supplies that were thrown into the sea before they returned to
San Diego. Having lived on a dry land farm during the Depression and the huge dirt storms where there was very little to eat, the waste of food was hard for him to take.
Dad asked Mom to come to
San Diego for a few months while he was working decommissioning and mothballing the now unused navy ships. After a short time in Seattle, Dad came back to
County to start farming again.
They moved to the Gerard farm which was below the
Canal near the
School. Dad and Mom became parent for the first time with the birth of Monte on December 5, 1948.
Soon, they moved to the Davey farm 2 miles East of Wiley. Greg was added to the family while they lived there.
In 1954 Dad and Mom bought a farm in
Valley and the family moved to the new homestead in June of 1955. Later, Dad rented the farm out and went to work for the May Valley Elevator. Rod was added to the family on September 17,1963. The Family moved to Lamar in 1964, after both older boys didn't want to be farmers.
Dad worked for The Lamar Lumber Company, was co-owner of a manufactured homes business doing the set up work and worked at the First National Bank as the custodian.
Dad along with Mom joined the First Christian Church in 1953 confirming their faith with their Baptism. Dad taught several Sunday School classes over the years, was a Deacon, an Elder, a Trustee and was faithful attendee until Mom's health made them unable to attend, and then his own health made him have to stay home. He lived hislife to be an example for his children and their families.
When Dad chose Mom to be his wife he chose for beauty and love. He could have not imagined what a treasure he had committed for life. Mom could drive a team of horses, drive a tractor, feed and milk the cows, slop the hogs, raise chickens to eat and sell the eggs, bake, can all sorts of fruit and vegetables, use the flyswatter on the bottoms of 3 ornery boys, sometimes every day or even several times a day. The day he married Mom he would not know he would be married for 66 years, 46 of those in the same house, to the lady who was his best friend.
For almost 50 years, Dad was taking care of family members; first his father, his father-in-law, his mother, his mother-in-law, his 3 sons, and then his beloved wife as she descended into the world of Alzheimer's.
Dad was a hard worker, but when the day's work was done, he wanted nothing more than to come home to his wife and sons. He loved his grand daughters and great-grand children.
Over the last three and one half years Dad had three ladies to help him. Lupe and Julia to help with Mom, and then Tina followed Julia to care for Dad. Our family will be forever grateful for the care they gave to Dad.
When we got the news Dad had cancer we knew the end was near as he made the decision not to do radiation or chemo. When the pain got too great, Hospice was called in to control the pain. The Hospice ladies loved and pampered Dad and they were like earthly angels with the care they gave to Dad. We are so thankful to them.
The last 2 months of his life we, his sons, spent so much time with Dad. We were able to tell him daily we loved him. Dad accepted death and was eager for the end. He knew he would be in Heaven with his Lord and Savior and his soul mate, Miona. Dad told us the suit he wanted to use to be buried in, the songs to sing, and other instructions for his memorial service.
Dad's life was not easy. Being an only child, the dirt storms and drought of the 1930's and the 1950's, farming was hard with teams of horses in the early years, the betrayal of a friend and business partner, his wife's illness near the end of her life, the crippling affects of arthritis in the back and in the hip, but through it all he persevered.
Our Dad left his sons so many legacies.It would be hard to list them all, but they can all be summed up in only 15 simple words.
First, he taught us how to live, and then he taught us how to die.