Obit: Ovans, Phyllis M. (1924 - 2016)

Transcriber: Robert Lipprandt 

Surnames: Anderson, Beck, Ewan, Hartmann, Hinton, Host, Lundeen, Ovans, Tarras, Wandsnider, Ward

----Source: The Tribune - Phonograph (Abbotsford, WI) 9/30/2016

Ovans, Phyllis M. (Beck) (27 SEP 1924 - 26 SEP 2016)

Phyllis M. (Beck) Ovans, 91, Spencer, passed away peacefully September 26 at her home surrounded by her loving family.

Funeral service to be held Friday, October 7 at 11:00 a.m. at St. John’s Lutheran Church, North Spencer. Visitation will be from 9:00 a.m. until time of service.

Interment in Abbotsford Public Cemetery later in the day. The Rev. Rebekah Tarras will officiate.

Phyllis Marie Beck was born December 27, 1924, in Hibbing, Minnesota to John and Anna (Helman) Beck. As a youngster, she moved with her parents to Milwaukee. She graduated from North Division High School, and worked in defense plants until World War II was over.

Then, while working for IBM, she met and married the love of her life, John L. Ovans, on April 26, 1947, in Milwaukee. They had three children. Phyllis and John retired to Lake Nokomis in 1980 and lived there until moving to Spencer in 1998. She was a member of St. John’s Lutheran Church.

Phyllis began her writing career with a small weekly newspaper in Milwaukee in 1960. After achieving certification as a professional nonfiction writer, she joined the staff of Lutheran Hospital of Milwaukee as public relations director. She later worked for the Milwaukee Public School Adult Education and Recreation Division, where she was sole creator of IMPACT, a magazine for Wisconsin Park and Recreation Association professionals in community-based recreation and therapeutic programs.

She was nationally published in Therapeutic Recreation Journal in 1972. In 1981, she was given an Honorary Fellowship Award by WPRA “in appreciation for outstanding service in the park and recreation field.” While living on the shores of Lake Nokomis on the Rice Reservoir, Phyllis wrote a history of the Town of Nokomis. She was president of Lake Nokomis Concerned Citizens, writer and editor of its newsletter, and producer of a 600-page document for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission regarding citizens’ rights to usable summertime water levels on the Wisconsin River Reservoir System.

She was founder and editor of the 173rd F.A. Group Newsletter, keeping veterans in John’s army unit in touch; and author of 173rd Field Artillery Group: A Collection of Memoirs, honoring the Group for their courage and valor. Before putting down her pen for the last time, she contributed inspirational pieces to the St. John’s Lutheran Church newsletter until January of this year.

Phyllis is survived by her children: Mary S. (Gerald) Hartmann, Germantown; Kristin L. Ovans, Spencer; and John C. (Donna) Ovans, Green Bay; six grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; two sisters-in-law: Mary Ewan, Rhinelander, and Lucille Ward, Gresham; and many other relatives and friends.

Phyllis was preceded in death by her parents; her husband of nearly 60 years, John, in February 2007; two brothers, John and Earl Beck; and six sisters, Esther Anderson, Sara Lundeen, Frances Hinton, Mabel Wandsnider, Miriam Beck and Vivian Host.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. John’s Lutheran Church.



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