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Gausman dies Sept. 8; colleagues cite commissioner's work ethic


Stevens County District 5 Commissioner Phil Gausman died Saturday, Sept. 8, according to an obituary published on the Pedersen Funeral Home & Cremation Service website.

Gausman, 70, had been in hospice care, family members said last week. Gausman had said at a Jan. 2 county board meeting that he was again battling cancer. Gausman was the county board chairman and had advanced in the Aug. 14 primary election to the Nov. 6 general election.

Commissioner Ron Staples has served on the county board since Gausman was elected in 2011.

"(Gausman) was very kindhearted," Staples said. "He liked to help people."

Gausman had battled cancer more than once as he served on the county board.

County attorney Aaron Jordan has been county attorney for seven years. He was struck by Gausman's work ethic, even when the commissioner was ill with cancer.

"He never complained. He just plowed ahead," Jordan said. "He was a real example to me and everyone."

"That was his driving force, to keep busy," Staples said.

Jordan will miss Gausman's sense of humor. "In general, he always had a lawyer joke for me. It was always good natured," Jordan said. "Even if it was a serious (work)."

Staples said Gausman will be missed by many people including those who regularly gathered for morning coffee at the city hall in Alberta. The coffee group has existed for many years and Gausman was a regular, Staples said.

Gausman served in the Navy from 1968 through 1974. He was the speaker for the 2017 Memorial Day Services ceremony at the Minnesota National Guard Armory in Morris.

Funeral services for Gausman will be 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 13 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Alberta.