Funeral services were held for Phyllis Romann of New York Mills on Dec. 8 at St. John's Lutheran Church in Corliss Township, rural Perham, with Pastor Phil Booe officiating. The hymns were sung by the congregation and accompanied by Dale Lubitz. The pallbearers were Neal Papenfuss, Jay Leaderbrand, Scott Koennicke, Robert Lubitz, Roy Koehler and Kyle Wientjes Phyllis was laid to rest in St. John's Cemetery, Corliss Township, rural Perham.
Phyllis Alene Walkington was born on Oct. 1, 1929 in Huron, S.D. Her parents were the late George and Berdina (Nelson) Walkington. She was baptized at the Lutheran Church in Huron and attended school in Wolsey, DeSmet and Huron,S.D. She was confirmed in the American Lutheran Church in DeSmet. Phyllis was employed at Huron Floral Shop, Hagen Dentist Office and managed the lunchroom and motel when her parents bought the Dreamland Motel in Perham in 1946.
Phyllis and Kenny Romann were married on Sept. 19, 1948 at the Perham Methodist Church. They bought their farm in 1949 north of New York Mills, which continued to be their home. In 1967, Phyllis started work as Senior Citizen Director for the Ottertail-Wadena Community Action Council. At the request of community leaders, city council and senior citizens, Phyllis wrote the grants, met with seniors and their families, secured furniture and supplies and hired and trained staff needed to establish 10 Senior Citizen Community Centers in Otter Tail and Wadena Counties. In 1973, Phyllis added responsibility of being director of the Retired Senior Volunteer Program and established volunteer stations in Todd, Wadena, Otter Tail and Wilkin Counties. These programs continue to serve a great need today. Phyllis served on the Board of Directors at the nursing homes, Senior Arts and Craft Shops and Regional Cultural Center. She also served on the Minnesota Board of Aging, 4-H Arts and Crafts Board, and was president of the American Legion Auxiliary, a Sunday School teacher and was president of the Minnesota Regional RSVP Council, etc.
After her retirement, Phyllis' love of people and creativity kept her busy and involved as she used her skills to design, make and market items she made with her knitting machines. Phyllis passed away on Dec. 1, 2013 at Sanford Health in Fargo, N.D. at age 84. She will be dearly missed by her family and friends. Preceding her in death were her parents; son, Larry; and husband, Kenny.
Phyllis is survived by her son, Keith (Betty) Romann of Garfield, Minn.; daughter, Kathryn (Paul) Fresonke of Cleveland, N.D.; son, David (Cheryl) Romann of Perham; nine grandchildren: Patricia Gelling, Valerie Velde, Kevin Romann, Brent Wanderi, Lisa Wanderi, Greg Wanderi, Chad Wanderi, Mark Wanderi and Brian Romann; 16 great-grandchildren: Hunter Gelling, James Velde, Samuel Velde, Deven Wanderi, Deidrik Wanderi, Jeremiah Doll, Tyler Fisher, Lucas Fisher, Travis Preston, Hunter Wanderi, Beau Wanderi, Dylan Arnold, Renee Larson, Hannah Larson, Samantha Romann and Avery Romann; many nieces, nephews, other relatives and countless friends.
Arrangements were provided by Karvonen Funeral Home, New York Mills. Please visit www.karvonenfuneralhome.com to leave a message of comfort and support.