PHYLLIS GRACE SCHOUWENBURG was born on June 22, 1934 to Fred and Jennie (Bergman) Wessels on the family farm in Rock County, Minnesota. She was raised on the farm and attended country school through the eighth grade. She then furthered her education at Luverne High School in Luverne, Minnesota, graduating with the class of 1952. She began working at Tri-State Mutual as secretary to the president of the company. She was very proud of being the first person to type on their first electric typewriter. In 1952, she also met Donald Schouwenburg at a softball field in Steen, Minnesota for a Labor Day softball tournament. A short time later, the couple began dating and on September 16, 1954, the couple was united in marriage at the Ebenezer Stateline Presbyterian Church west of Ellsworth, Minnesota. The couple made their home first in Luverne. In 1956, Don purchased the repair shop in Steen, Minnesota and the couple moved to town, later becoming members of the Steen Reformed Church. At this time Phyllis became a homemaker as the couple would eventually be blessed with four daughters. In 1960, the young family moved to Hills, Minnesota. Along with caring for the family, Phyllis began baking and decorating cakes, many of which were wedding cakes over the years. Phyllis was also very creative with many hobbies, which included sewing, reading, water and acrylic painting, and sculpting. She was very proud of doing all of the artwork for the Hills Centennial Cookbook. For many years her life size chalk drawing of the Nativity was displayed in the Steen Reformed Church at Christmas. Later in life, Phyllis worked in the cafeteria for Hills-Beaver Creek High School for a few years and then served as the secretary to the high school principal for nearly ten years. After retirement Phyllis enjoyed spending time with her grandchildren and attending their many activities, being a reading volunteer at the Luverne Elementary school, bird watching and beating Don at Wheel of Fortune. In 2015, Phyllis and Don moved to Sioux Falls, South Dakota and resided at the Avera Prince of Peace Retirement Community. On Tuesday, August 27, 2019, Phyllis died peacefully at home surrounded by her family.
Phyllis is lovingly survived by her husband, Don; children, Constance (Russell) Cambern of Brookings, South Dakota, Lori Inafuku of Minnetonka, Minnesota, Joni (Curt) Gacke of Sioux Falls, and Julie (Fred III) Rule of Sioux Falls; nine grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; two step-great-grandchildren; seven siblings, Norman (Joyce) Wessels of Luverne, Enore Boelman of Luverne, Lowell Wessels of Steen, Iva (Edwin) Elbers of Luverne, Harold Wessels of Luverne, David (Beverly) Wessels of Steen, and Doug (Ginny) Wessels of Hardwick; and sisters-in-law, Theresa Wessels of Luverne and Gert Wessels of Luverne. She was preceded in death by her parents; brothers, Dale, Darrell and Stanley Wessels; sister, Vernice Wessels; sisters-in-law, Jolene and Sharon Wessels; brother-in-law, Edwin Boelman; niece, Tina Wessels Martinez; and several nieces and nephews.