Hamilton, MT -- Maxine Dorothy (Hanson) Lusk passed away peacefully November 29, 2019 in Missoula, MT at the age of 96. She was born May 12, 1923 in Adrian, North Dakota to Nels and Susie (Hildenbrand) Hanson.
She is survived by her four children: Susan Patrick (Fred-deceased), Santa Maria, CA (children-Fredric and Angela); Vicky Lodge (Jim), Missoula, MT (children-Kari, Kira, and Kaylee); Tommy J Lusk, Haleiwa, HI (children-Christopher, and Kimberly); Ann Hartman, McMinnville, OR (children-Rochelle, Maridee, and Kimberly), twenty great-grandchildren, and three great-great grandchildren. She is also survived by her younger brother, Clifford Hanson, Jamestown, ND. Maxine was a favorite aunt to numerous nieces and nephews.
Maxine grew up on the family farm in North Dakota with her parents and seven siblings in a tiny three-room farmhouse. She worked long, hard hours in the fields and on household chores. Her work ethic was unapparelled and continued well into her 80’s. In order to attend high school, Maxine moved to town with a family to care for their children and help with household chores in exchange for room and board. Additionally, she worked at the school cleaning and maintaining the fire for the furnace. She graduated from Nortonville High School in 1943. One of her favorite high school memories was playing on the girls basketball team.
Maxine did not venture more than a few miles from her home until she and a good friend decided to move to Bremerton, WA, at the end of WWII to work at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. It was there she met a handsome southern boy, J Lusk, who had just finished his overseas service in the Army Air Corp. They met at a shipyard dance and were married six weeks later on March 29, 1945. They briefly lived in Alaska before moving to Bakersfield, CA where their four children were born. After living in parts of California and Oregon, the family settled in Hamilton, MT in 1963 where Maxine lived permanently at her little place south of town.
When her children were older, she began working at Safeway in Hamilton and did so for over thirty years. She loved her job and especially her customers. Even after Maxine retired, the family often heard the same message, “I loved your Mom and always tried to go through her check stand.” She was a beloved employee.
The ‘farm girl’ in Maxine never went away. She loved working on her property well into her 80’s where you could find her changing sprinkler pipes, fixing fence, and even moving hay bales by herself. She regularly walked to town and continued walking into her last days.
Maxine lived a full and busy life. She was a devoted and caring mother who would sacrifice anything for her family. Her grandchildren adored her. She was generous with her time and played with them for hours on end. She had a cute sense of humor, loved all those around her, and had a hug for everyone. She often called people “sweetheart,” and told them they were beautiful. She had a servant’s heart, and welcomed everyone into her home, friend or stranger.
Her strength was in her savior, Jesus Christ, her family and friends. She attended the Church of Christ for most of her life and loved the singing the old hymns. The last few years of her life she attended House of Praise in Victor, MT. We will miss mom but are comforted by knowing that she is Safe in the Arms of Jesus.
Maxine was preceded in death by her parents; brothers, Charles, Albert, Ernest, William, and Earl; sister, Claire; and granddaughter, Melanie Suzanne Hartman.
A special thanks to the caretakers at Edgewood Vista Memory Care, Missoula, MT, where Maxine resided for the last year and a half of her life.
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