Carly Christine Phillips was born on July 8, 1984 in Walnut Creek, California and passed away March 8, 2011 in Bend, Oregon. Carly resided in Missoula, Montana neat the beautiful Glacier and Yellowstone National parks with her longtime love Mike Elliott, their dog Bruce and their two cats, Truck and Olive. Carly was a graduate of Oregon State University with a degree in Sociology and a Master’s Degree in Environmental Sociology from the University of Montana.
She had a passion for helping people, especially children and young adults, and had recently worked for Ecology Project International in Missoula, a non-profit organization dedicated to developing field science partnerships that teach high school students to address critical conservation issues.
When Carly wasn’t busy working she was off on her next adventure. She spent time with her family and friends camping, hiking, fly-fishing and enjoying the beauty of Central Oregon and Montana.
Carly was raised in Pleasant Hill, California and graduated from College Park High School in 2002 where she was a honor student and stand out soccer player. She began her undergraduate studies at OSU while her family relocated to Bend, Oregon. Carly spent a semester in Oviedo, Spain and fell in love with the people and culture. After graduation she spent time in Ecuador volunteering with an animal rescue center in the Andes Mountains. When she returned home she moved to Portland and began work with the Multnomah Outdoors Schools. Carly taught children about the outdoors and the importance of a clean environment. She had the utmost love and respect for the kids that came from tough situations and was always looking for ways to make their lives better.
Carly loved Montana and was thrilled to accept a graduate assistant position and a scholarship to attain her master’s degree at the University of Montana. She and Mike moved to Missoula and quickly embraced the community.
Carly was such an incredible person and always looked for the best in the people and world around her. Her idealism inspired all of us to live better lives and be kinder, gentler people. She had such an impact on people as evidenced by the outpouring of love and recognition she has received since her passing. A scholarship fund was established at EPI that supports the participation of underserved Montana youths in EPI’s programs, The University of Montana renamed their prestigious graduate sociology award to “The Carly Christine Phillips Award in Applied Sociology , and over 70 people have permanently tattooed “Carly’s star” on their right foot. As Mike so aptly stated in his tribute to Carly, “If you can summon the courage, I’d like to ask you to be kinder than you think you can be, to give more than you think you have, and by doing so let Carly live inside you forever! Live Fiercely for her!”