July 24, 1927-Feb. 28, 2004
Phyllis Elaine Nielsen, the youngest of seven children of George and Lena (Bryan) Harris, was born July 24, 1927, in McCook. Phyllis attended school in McCook and graduated from McCook High School in 1945.
On Aug. 25, 1946, Phyllis was united in marriage to Charles "Chuck" Martin Anderson in McCook. This union was blessed with four children; Candice, Janie, Lori and David.
Phyllis was a member of the United Methodist Church. Her spiritual life was very important to her and she was active in her church. She sang in the choir. Many will remember her beautiful voice.
Phyllis was a member of Easter Star. While in Curtis, she and her husband, Chuck, participated in the annual Easter pageant. They were also members of "Little Theater."
Phyllis worked at the McCook Grain Elevator and later at Holdrege Seed and Farm Supply with Chuck. Yet, Phyllis was first and foremost wife, mom and grandma. Family was the most important aspect of her life. Phyllis was happiest when family was gathering, such as for holidays, camping trips and other special occasions. She enjoyed her garden and loved her pets. She was always doing things for others and was loved by many.
Chuck died of cancer on April 11, 1978. Phyllis helped establish the Holdrege chapter of THEOS, a support group for widows and widowers. She accepted position as executive secretary for Allmand Brothers in Holdrege, where she became a highly regarded employee.
On Oct. 28, 1982, Phyllis married Darold Nielsen in Holdrege. She moved with Darold to Elwood where she continued her involvement in church, choir and community.
Phyllis was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease in June 1993. Darold cared for her at home. Eventually, as the effects of the disease gradually increased her impairment, Phyllis moved into the nursing home in Elwood. Then, in May 1997, she moved to the Nemaha County Good Samaritan Center in Auburn, where she was beloved by staff. It was there, encircled by her children, that Phyllis passed away Saturday, Feb. 28, 2004, at the age of 76 years, 7 months and four days.
She was preceded in death by her parents; mother-in-law, Helen Anderson; husband, Chuck; brothers, Charles, Byron, Wilbur and Donald; sisters, Lucille and Mildred; and great-granddaughter, Cassadi Rippen.
Phyllis is survived by her daughters and sons-in-law, Candice and Bruce Petzoldt of Johnson, Janie and Terry Ostlund of Las Vegas, Nev., Lori and Kenny Smith of Grand Junction, Colo.; son and daughter-in-law, David and Kim Anderson of Kearney; grandchildren, Jeff and wife, Christi Rippen, Rikki Ripen, Melissa and husband, Michael Cain, Sara and husband, Adam Miller, Nelse and wife, Tami Ostlund, Summer and husband, Thom Doyle, Christopher Lichtenberg, Tylene Lichtenberg, Kiley and husband, Kelsey Cottrell and Erin Wolfe; great-grandchildren, Justin and Nash Rippen, Chloe Cain, Sydney Ostlund, Connor and Alissa Cottrell and Mitchell Wolfe; brother-in-law, Orville Fritsch of McCook; and other relatives and friends.
The body was cremated. No local services are planned. Private memorial services will be at a later date. The family suggested memorials to the Alzheimer's Association or the Good Samaritan Center "Ruby Lane" walking path project in Auburn.
Hemmingsen Funeral Home of Auburn is in charge of the arrangements.