Phyllis was born into the family of Arami & Bertha (Detweiler) King on May 21, 1939. She was the 4th child in their growing family. Her early years were spent on the family farm north of Harper, Kansas where she attended the local public schools, graduating from Harper High School in 1957. In the fall of 1957 she enrolled at Hesston College, Hesston, Kansas obtaining an AA degree in 1959. At Hesston College she met and eventually married James Kauffman of Perryton, Texas on June 5 of 1960. They became the parents of two sons, Douglas Kent and David King Kauffman, both of Hesston Kansas. The immediate family mourning her loss are Doug, Dave, Lynda and granddaughter Paige Kauffman all of Hesston and Douglas’s daughter Alexandria of Mobile, Alabama. She was preceded in death by her parents, oldest brother Eldon and youngest sister Roberta. Siblings remaining are Virginia (Richard) Ediger of Buhler, Kansas; Patricia (Laurel) Miller of Hesston, Kansas and Calvin (Ardis) King of South Bend, Indiana. There are 11 nieces and nephews also losing a special Aunt.
At an early age she committed her life to Christ and was baptized at the Pleasant Valley Mennonite Church, Harper, Kansas. She was active in several denominations including First Baptist Church of Atlanta. Her final membership was at Hesston Mennonite Church.
After a period of service in Topeka, Kansas Jim & Phyllis returned to Hesston to raise their family. In 1969 she enrolled in the Hesston College Nursing Program earning her RN degree in 1971. Nursing along with her family became the focus of her professional life. Her nursing career started at the Halstead Hospital, Halstead, Kansas. She continued at Wesley Hospital, Wichita, Kansas and Shallowford (Emory) Hospital of Atlanta, Ga. Phyllis had a special way of making and maintaining relationships with colleagues and patients. She loved serving people.
In 2005 she renewed her acquaintance with Douglas Stutzman of Hesston, Kansas. In 2006 the two were married bringing a whole new family into each of their lives. This included Dave and Sharon Stutzman of Hesston, Kansas, Kathy Ropp and husband Steve of Iowa City, Iowa and Steve and Anita Stutzman of Denver, Colorado and a number of grand and great grandchildren. Phyllis enjoyed a very special relationship appreciating each other’s families and making their retirement years most pleasant.
To her siblings Phyllis was known for “wanting things nice”. She took responsibility to keep the lawn of the old farm looking better than ever. As a child she was active and moved fast and was sometimes called “whiz” long before there was a TV show with that title. Occasionally she liked to “push the boundaries” of family and community standards. She loved to decorate both her home, church and at Schowalter villa with her passion to make things nice and presentable. In her home special meals were usually creative and presented with flair.
She suffered years battling Rheumatoid Arthritis long before more modern treatments became available. From this malady she suffered silently. Those early treatments eventually lead to pulmonary fibrosis which lead to her death.
May she now rest in eternal peace in the hands of our Savior.
Memorial Service will be held Monday, October 22, 2018 11:00 a.m. at Hesston Mennonite Church with Pastors Clayton Gladish and Robert Yutzy officiating. Visitation will be held Sunday, October 21, 2018 from 5-7 p.m. at the Hesston Mennonite Church. Private family burial will be held at Eastlawn Cemetery in Zimmerdale. Memorials are suggested to the Schowalter Villa Good Samaritan Fund or the Hesston Mennonite Building Fund and may be sent in care of Petersen Funeral Home, 215 N. Main, Newton, KS. 67114.