August 11, 2020

Phyllis Anderson

Phyllis Anderson, 71, passed away August 7, 2020 in Lincoln. She was born on Sept 5, 1948 in Appleton, Wisconsin and was a beloved mother, grandmother and sister.

Phyllis grew up in the Hegner family of 9 children on a dairy farm in Appleton, Wisconsin. She met Dean, her husband of 42 years while still in high school. She soon became a proud Army wife and devoted herself to supporting her husband through a lifetime Army career. She knew how to make our house a home in over half a dozen states and two foreign countries. She could pick up, pack up and set back up our family home like a Samantha nose-twitch from Bewitched – just that easy. She knew how to stretch a military paycheck like it was made from taffy and proudly cooked every meal in our home. Instead of waiting for the Army engineer to come make home repairs, she took self-help courses and learned how to repair things on her own.

Later in life, Phyllis worked retail at the Ft. Lewis Army PX and then went on to earn her Certified Nursing Assistant Certificate and became a home health care assistant in both the Tacoma, WA area and in Chandler, AZ. She took the most pride during her years of being able to help others in their homes. 

Phyllis loved sewing and was a talented seamstress. She could repair or reconstruct an outfit like a master seamstress. She sewed countless walker bags for patients at Madonna Rehab as well as playful capes for the Alexis Verzal Children’s Rehab patients. She also enjoyed painting, a hobby that she shared with her grandson.

She fought both colon cancer and most recently, a very rare form of breast cancer. This fight would total over 12 years. But she knew how to fight like a champion while always presenting her best. Anyone who knew her knows that meant she looked her absolute best even if she was crumbling inside. The ‘no make-up rule’ for her countless surgeries just meant no eye-shadow that day! She would always get up, dress up and show up no matter the struggle.

Most importantly, she was a mother and grandmother that will be missed beyond measure.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Dean Anderson; her parents Melvin and Doris Hegner, brother William “Bill” Hegner all of Wisconsin. Survivors include daughter Kristine (Beau) Wolfe and grandson Scott of Lincoln; daughter Lisa Farrell and granddaughter Kaitlyn of Arizona; sister & brother-in-law Margie and Glenn Jones of Wisconsin; and many other siblings, nieces and nephews in Appleton. Memorials in lieu of flowers can be sent to Horisun Hospice Foundation (Attn: Phyllis Anderson Memorial Fund; 2200 S. 40th Street #101; Lincoln, Nebraska 68506). A private memorial will be planned at a later date.

“If I should die before the rest of you,
Break not a flower nor inscribe a stone.
Nor, when I’m gone, speak in a Sunday voice,
But be the usual selves that I have known.
Weep if you must,
Parting is hell.
But life goes on,
So…….. sing as well.”

by Joyce Grenfell


  1. Kristine, my love and prayers are with you all. I am so sorry for your loss.

  2. Phyllis was a beautiful, strong and talented lady. I’m so sorry for your loss.

  3. Lisa and Kristine, I’m so sorry for your loss. While I haven’t seen you in many years, you cross my mind from time to time. May God’s peace find you today and in the coming days. Love, Bethany (Aunt Irene’s daughter)

  4. 🌻If flowers grow in heaven Lord-then pick a bunch from me. Please place them in my sister’s arms & tell her they are from me. Tell her that I Love and Miss her and when she turns to smile,place a kiss upon her cheek & HOLD her for awhile 💕xxoo

  5. She sounds like a wonderful person — I’m so sad for her family that she is gone, but so happy that they got to have her as long as they did. I know she hated to leave them.


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