Phyllis Tiller, age 91, of Isanti, died February 22, 2019 at Prairie Senior Cottages in Isanti. A memorial service will be held at 11 A.M. on Saturday, APRIL 27th at Cambridge Lutheran Church with a visitation 1 hour prior to the service. Memorials preferred to Cambridge Lutheran Church/Children’s Ministries.
Phyllis was born to Sam and Ida Stewart on September 17, 1927 in Burnside Township, Webster County, Iowa. When she was a young girl, her family moved to Glen Lake, Minnesota. She developed her love of reading at rural schools, graduated from Hopkins High School, and attended Gustavus Adolphus College. She married Elwood Tiller on August 12, 1949. Together they had five children and raised them in St. Louis Park, Minnesota.
Phyllis was primarily a homemaker, but also worked cleaning houses and at Musicland’s warehouse in St. Louis Park. Phyllis and Elwood loved nature, animals, camping, and taking road-trips all over the United States.
After retirement in 1981, Phyllis and Elwood made their home in Cable, Wisconsin. They volunteered every winter with the Birkebeiner race in Hayward, Wisconsin and expanded their travel to other countries, including special trips to Sweden and Norway to honor their heritage, to Saudi Arabia to attend their oldest granddaughter’s wedding, and to Israel to visit the Holy Land.
In 1994, they moved to Pine Village in Cambridge, Minnesota to be closer to family. They enjoyed being a part of the Happy Isanti Seniors and playing cards with their friends there every Tuesday.
Having servant’s hearts and a great love for all children, Phyllis and Elwood volunteered many years both in Hayward and at Isanti Elementary School, listening to and supporting children with their reading skills. They received a service award in Isanti after volunteering at the school for 10 years. As members of Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Hopkins, Minnesota, Phyllis and Elwood chaperoned youth trips and Phyllis taught confirmation classes. More recently, as members of Cambridge Lutheran Church, Phyllis and Elwood volunteered with the “Loaves and Fishes” ministry and “Logos” children program. Phyllis also mentored mothers with young children, volunteered at the Shalom Shop in Cambridge, made many prayer shawls for those in need, and knitted countless mittens for local schoolchildren.
After Elwood passed away in 2007, Phyllis remained an avid reader and continued to keep busy with knitting, crocheting, tatting, bowling, baking bread and making applesauce. Phyllis made many beautiful and intricate afghans, tablecloths and sweaters to give away, especially to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
As her health declined, Phyllis moved to Prairie Senior Cottages in Isanti, where she entertained everyone with her stories and jokes. She kept a positive outlook on life and read 10 library books a week. The family sincerely thanks all the staff at Prairie Senior Cottages and St. Croix Hospice for their love and care for Phyllis and her family.
Phyllis was preceded in death by her husband, Elwood, oldest daughter, Laura Sanad Al-Ghamdi, and sisters Lillian Stewart, Doris Davidson, and Edna Schuster. She is survived by her children, Ed (Cindy) Tiller of Isanti; Pat (Linda) Tiller of Sharon, Massachusetts; David (Terry) Tiller of Bloomington, Minnesota; and Chris (Phil) Bohn of Del Rio, Tennessee; 16 grandchildren and more than 24 great-grandchildren; and her sisters Joyce Mills and Wilma Gale.