Phyllis Elisabeth (McCumber) Pfluge, beloved mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, passed away peacefully on Oct. 11, 2019, in Billings.
Phyllis was the youngest of four children born to Charles and Ethel McCumber on Dec. 6, 1921, in Academy, South Dakota. She was born during the Great Depression, which contributed to her values of hard work and a generous heart. She attended college at South Dakota University, graduating with degrees in Home Economics and Science.
Phyllis married Waldron ‘Wally’ Pfluge in May 1944. They married shortly before Wally was deployed to Europe during WWII with the 97th Infantry, where he served in the Battle of the Bulge, Japan and Korea. Together, they raised two children, Dianna and Charles. Phyllis and Wally enjoyed traveling, entertaining, volunteering and spending time with their grandchildren and great-grandchildren. They loved attending all of their sporting events and sharing many wonderful holidays and vacations. She especially enjoyed working at all of the General Distributing Company BBQ’s and functions.
After the birth of her first great-grandchild, Phyllis affectionately became known as GG. Everyone who met her adopted her as their own GG. Phyllis’s sense of humor was one of a kind, her personality and motto was ‘in a world where you can be anything be kind’ and that ‘the life you live is the legacy you leave’ made her loved by everyone that she met.
Phyllis was known for her amazing baked goods, but was most famous for her cinnamon rolls. Many requests from her grandchildren and great-grandchildren over the years yielded dozens of cinnamon rolls for every occasion. Also, every holiday season, Phyllis went to work making dozens of batches of her world-famous peanut brittle during the holiday season. Another one of her many talents was her knitting and crocheting projects. She knitted hundreds of hats for everyone she knew, and for hundreds of people she hadn’t met, including countless hats for preemie babies in the NICU and for cancer patients receiving treatment.
GG’s longevity was in large part due to her incredibly active routine, which included a passion for playing bridge numerous times a week. At St. John’s, she loved partaking in water aerobics, chair yoga and singing in the Missionaries. GG was known for her incredible memory, as she would tell stories of hunting and fishing growing up in South Dakota. She spoke of times with her husband, and their amazing life they lived together. All of these stories were often enjoyed in the evenings over a ‘titch.’
GG loved attending the monthly Teachers Retirement luncheons, as she spent a number of years teaching home economics at Riverside Elementary. GG and Wally were very active with the local, regional and national Kiwanis club organization. One of their most enjoyable activities they did with the Kiwanians was helping to organize the annual pancake and waffle breakfast, utilizing their special family sourdough recipe.
Phyllis was preceded in death by her husband of 62 years; grandson Kyle Pfluge; son Charles; great-granddaughter Gianna Bliss; and her son-in-law Glenn F. Bliss. She is survived by her daughter Dianna Bliss; her daughter in-law Carol (Peter) Timm; grandchildren Glenn W. Bliss (Juliann), Jason Bliss, Eric (Julie) Bliss, Brian Bliss, Matthew (Sonja) Pfluge, and Caitlin (Peter) Tallar; great-grandchildren Glenn Austin Bliss, Abbie Bliss, Brandon Bliss, Bennett Bliss, Courtney Bliss, Sienna Bliss, Brody Bliss, Ryder Bliss, Edwyn Pfluge, and Cora Pfluge.
GG’s Celebration of Life will be from 1 to 2 p.m. Friday, Oct. 18, at Kathy Lillis Chapel, located at 2429 Mission Way in Billings, with a reception immediately following.
A memorial bench and rose garden will be created at St. Johns, so donations can be made in GG’s honor at First Interstate Bank.