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Phyllis A. Neufeld

September 7, 2015

Phyllis Ann Neufeld, 81, died Monday September 7, 2015.
She was born on August 10, 1934 in Henderson Nebraska to Clara Doell Epp and Albert Epp. She resided in Henderson with her parents before moving to Los Angeles during the depression where her father took a job as a ship builder and they lived in a duplex with her Aunt Anna and Uncle Johnny Goossen. This is where her sister, Donna Beth, was born in 1944. By the end of World War II in 1945, the family decided to move back to Henderson and then on to York, Nebraska. This is where Phyllis attended York High School and graduated in 1952. There was a very good vocal music department where Phyllis had many opportunities to sing in choir, singing solos, trios, triple trios, and operettas.
After high school graduation the family moved to North Newton, Kansas where her father opened Epp’s Jewelry and Watch Repair and Phyllis started college at Bethel College. Phyllis’s love of music continued with her studies at Bethel graduating with a music education degree, followed by a Master’s in Music from Wichita State University. Singing with the Newton Community Choir was a high light.
It was while at Bethel College; Phyllis met and later married her beloved husband, Dorel Jerome Neufeld, on February 27, 1956.
After teaching at Lehigh for a couple of years, Dorel and Phyllis moved to the farm outside of Moundridge where their first son, David Jerome was born. The family then moved to Newton in 1960 and Kathryn Annette was born and Carol Jean followed 4 years later. Phyllis continued to teach vocal music in Newton, and other Harvey county area schools including Hesston and Sedgwick.
At the age of 49 Phyllis completed her RN training at Hesston College and worked as a Psych nurse at Halstead Hospital until 1997, the last couple years as a home health nurse.
Phyllis was an active member of the First Mennonite Church in Halstead, serving in many leadership positions through the years.
Survivors include; son David Neufeld and wife Marda of Silver Lake; daughters Kathy Wray and husband Kevin of Newton, and Carol Raleigh and husband Greg of Hesston; sister Donna and husband Bill Mills of Newton; sister-in-law Virginia Neufeld of Newton; 10 grandchildren, Michael Neufeld, Anna Bolan, Alex Neufeld, Andrew Wray, Matthew Wray, Jacob Wray, Morgan Simmering, Lauren Roulhac, Taylor Unruh, and Grant Raleigh; and 16 great grandchildren.
She is preceded in death by her parents and husband.
Petersen Funeral Home in Newton will be open from 5-9 on Friday, September 11 with family present from 6:30-8:00.
A private family burial will be held on Saturday afternoon, September 12 at Halstead Cemetery followed by a public memorial celebration at 3:00 at the First Mennonite Church in Halstead.
A memorial has been established with Harry Hynes Hospice in care of Petersen Funeral Home, Newton, Kansas.

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