She was a lifelong friend and a devoted scientific researcher, and she rarely backed down from a challenge, whether it was climbing Maine’s tallest mountain or moving to Florida to care for her elderly mother.

Susan B. Faust will be missed, her friends and family said Thursday.

Mrs. Faust, a longtime resident of Buxton, died Aug. 2 in Port Charlotte, Fla., at age 65.

She moved to Florida about five years ago so she could be closer to her mother, Lillian B. Sims.

“She loved the outdoors. We did a lot of cross-country skiing and we honeymooned on (Mount) Katahdin,” said her husband, David A. Faust.

Born and raised in New Jersey, Mrs. Faust graduated from Brown University in 1967 with a degree in biology. She began her science career working in a research lab at Harvard Medical School.

She moved to Maine in the early 1970s and met Nancy Dail. The women became lifelong friends.

“I was attracted to Susan by her fierce intelligence,” said Dail, who lives in Waldoboro. “She would challenge a person’s ability to think.”

Mrs. Faust introduced Dail to her future husband. In turn, the Dails introduced Faust to her husband.

Dail remembers watching the couple on their first date. “They went ice skating on the pond in front of our house,” she said.

The Fausts held their wedding reception at Nancy and Bill Dail’s house in Waldoboro.

For their honeymoon, the Fausts climbed Mount Katahdin, Maine’s highest peak in Baxter State Park.

David Faust said he and his wife returned to the mountain in 1982 to celebrate their first wedding anniversary.

He said they lived in Waldoboro and Orono before settling in Bar Mills, a village in Buxton where they lived for more than 20 years.

During that time, Mrs. Faust became a researcher for AgriTech Corp., which later became Idexx Laboratories of Westbrook. She was the seventh employee hired, making her one of the company’s founding employees.

“She was one of the ground-floor people doing research there. She loved it and the people there loved her,” Dail said. “Susan was into research and science. She was the ultimate scientific intellectual.”

She held the position of scientific research associate in molecular diagnostics for more than 26 years at Idexx.

“Their dream at Idexx lined up with Susan’s dream of caring for animals,” her husband said.

He said she won several research awards during her career. Even after the couple moved to Florida, she continued to work for Idexx, doing database research.

Mrs. Faust had battled cancer for the past eight years.

“She battled cancer quietly and with such grace,” said Dail. “I’m going to miss her so much. She was a lifetime friend to me.”

Staff Writer Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at:

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