Betty Jean (Kahn) Farris was born Sept. 30, 1935, in Kalispell to George Michael Kahn and Lillian Coretta Evenson.
Betty battled ovarian cancer for over eight years and you can be assured she won. Betty passed gently and gracefully away Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020, in her own home and on her own terms with her family by her side.
Betty was number four of siblings Delores, George, Carol and Dorothy. Although she grew up during the Great Depression and World War II, she described her childhood as idyllic, growing up among cousins, aunts and uncles, grandparents, and strawberries in the Bigfork area.
Graduating from Flathead County High School in 1953, Betty promptly left for California and to see the world. She crisscrossed the country working for the International Magazine Company where she met her future husband, Andrew “Red” Farris in Buffalo, New York. They married in Eugene, Oregon, and had their first child, Lynn, in Huntington, Indiana.
Returning to Montana, they added Patrick and Bettina to their family. A summer place at Bitterroot Lake made a great place to raise a family.
Betty’s vocation and avocation was as a tax preparer. She operated H&R Block from 1987 to 2014. She loved her work and her customers.
Betty is survived by her children, Lynn (Mike Vollmer), Patrick, and Bettina (Gary) Smigaj; grandchildren, Colby (Kate) Farris of South Carolina, Martin Vollmer, Kjelseth Vollmer, Katelyn Smigaj, and Andrew Smigaj of Kalispell. She is also survived by her sister, Dorothy McMillan, of Tacoma, Washington, sister-in-law, Carla Kahn, of Kalispell; cousins, Dave, Nancy and Kenneth Evenson and Susan Hunter. Nieces and nephews include Kelly, Ronnie, Sandy, Mike, Mark, Bruce, Colin and Marty. They will all miss their Aunt Betty and special times at the lake.
A diagnoses of ovarian cancer absolutely did not define her or limit her activities or way of life. She continued to live and work on her own terms until she retired at 79. Betty was especially appreciative of her very personal and excellent care by Dr. Peter Wagner. She always left him feeling she was his favorite patient. Each spring he would give her a short lecture on kayak safety, reminding her to wear her life jacket, don’t go out alone and remember the water was still very cold and “you can’t swim as far as you used to.”
The care provided by the staff of the Infusion Center was second to none. The atmosphere was bright, positive and cheerful and made many a long day of treatment go quickly. Thank you for that.
There will be a celebration of this good life led at a time to be announced in the summer at Bitterroot Lake.
Anyone wishing to honor her memory might consider a donation to the Huntington’s Disease Foundation at https://www.huntingtonsdiseasefoundation.org.
Buffalo Hill Funeral Home in Kalispell is caring for the family; https://www.buffalohillfh.com.
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