Phyllis received her 12 years of formal education at district number 95 in Henderson, Nebraska. She graduated from high school in 1946. These were very hard years and because of this grandmother Smith (Grosmom) couldn’t afford to pay taxes for her home and so her father Jacob bought her home. For a few years Grosmom, Phyllis’s parents, her and her brother all lived together in a very small house. A few years later, Grosmom rented a different home in Henderson, leaving the rest of the family to continue living in the house.
Phyllis’ family moved to Henderson. Her first four years were in the (still standing) red brick school. The 5th – 8th grade were in the original Bible school building (close to Bethesda Mennonite Church). Her high school years were in the high school building. During her high school years, she worked every Wednesday and Saturday all year long in a local grocery store. The summer Phyllis graduated from High School in 1946 she worked at an egg processing plant in York. She then later worked at York Laundry and at Hesslers Dry Cleaners, both in York.
On April 25, 1947, Phyllis married Clarence Friesen. They celebrated 70 years together. They had three children, Larry Dean, Ronald Dean, and Kathleen Ann.
Phyllis became a member of Bethesda Mennonite Church. She was a member of the Mission Circle, taught Sunday School and Bible School. Phyllis helped with all the farming duties. She learned how to drive a tractor and haul corn to town during harvest. This was quite an achievement for her as she was a “town girl”. Phyllis also worked 7 ½ years in the Friesen IGA bakery in Henderson. She retired from the bakery when her health no longer permitted her to work.
In her earlier years she enjoyed going to her children’s sporting events, Big Red Football, and basketball games at the University in Lincoln. One of her favorite sports to watch was gymnastics. Phyllis always raised a garden and did yard work for as long as her health permitted. Her main hobby was reading during her leisure time.
Phyllis leaves to mourn her three children: Larry (Ellie), Ron (Joyce) and Kathy Friesen (Tom Frey), six grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband Clarence, her parents, and brother Lyle Smith.
Private family graveside services in the Bethesda Mennonite Cemetery. No viewing or visitation. Memorials may be directed to the family for later designation.