Phyllis Elaine Clark was received into heaven on Monday, June 13, 2022, with her daughter Tracy by her side. As the oldest child, with three younger brothers, Phyllis learned hard-work and discipline at a young age. She possessed a curious, light-hearted, creative spirit, and developed a deep love for animals and people. She graduated valedictorian of her Howard City High School class and earned a full scholarship to the University of Michigan, finishing her BS and RN at Wayne State University.
She met Wendell Clark while working as an Industrial Nurse at the Wolverine Manufacturing Co in Rockford, MI. They married in December of 1956.
Phyllis was a most dependable and devoted mother and taught her two girls to view problems with others by "walking in their shoes", a lasting lesson of empathy and compassion. She was modest in all things and her closest friends were those in her many Bible study groups, which she led over the years.
With her bright red-hair and jovial personality, she became a popular Industrial nurse at the Upjohn Company for seventeen years. She was often requested by those who quickly became friends. Her common sense ability to give health or personal woes a light-hearted touch, with genuine listening and a great story or joke, exemplified her motto: "A joyful heart is good medicine!" She was also known to share her faith and pray with her patients behind those closed doors.
After retiring, Phyllis developed a number of Christian youth programs in the Galesburg area, and also obtained funding, through United Way, for playground equipment at Galesburg Community Park. She humbly received the State of Michigan's "Good Citizenship Award", as Galesburg's nominee. Most notable was the "Release Time" program she started with Galesburg High School and a group of dedicated ladies who would transport interested students to the Galesburg City Hall, once a month, for bible teaching and games. Pastor Jon Zondervan, from Radiant Church, would speak on occasion to the students for this special event.
After retirement, her husband partnered in the building and development of The Sports Page restaurant. With people's laughter as her hobby, Phyllis served as a willing hostess. Eventually, she purchased and managed her own restaurant, The Minnie Tucker, on Klinger Lake in Sturgis, and spent countless hours driving back and forth, in every type of winter weather condition.
Soon after her husband's death in 2009, Phyllis suffered a stroke which affected her right side, but she managed quite well being left-handed. Her faith and positive, cheerful attitude allowed her to continue independent and assisted living until the Covid pandemic, at which time daughter Tracy and her husband cared for her in their home. Phyllis suffered another stroke in December 2021, which affected her speech and mobility further.
She was a remarkable woman and leaves a great legacy of faith, determination and devotion to her family and friends. Phyllis was preceded in death by husband, Wendell Clark; parents, Donald and Vesta Punches; brothers, Ronald Punches and Robert Punches, and grandson, Ronald Baden, Jr.
Phyllis is survived by her brother, James Punches; children, Kristine (Ned) Thompson and Tracy (David) Stevens; grandchildren, Wendi (Jon) Peot, Kacy (Dr. Justin) Houseman, Clark (Clarissa) Thompson, Ali-Marie (Alec) Ingram, Robert Thompson, Melody (Zach) Beeson, Monica Stevens, Jon (Shannon) Stevens, and Joshua Stevens; great grandchildren, Jane and Riley Peot, Parker, Clara and Evan Houseman, Evelyn, Juliet and baby Ingram, Miles Beeson, and baby Stevens. Sisters-in-law, Kathy Punches and Nancy Punches.
A Celebration of Life will be held on Thursday, June 23, 2022 at 12:00 pm at Langeland Family Funeral Homes Burial and Cremation Services 3926 S 9th St. Kalamazoo, MI 49009. Those desiring may make memorial contributions to Centrica Care Navigators, in memory of Phyllis. To view her personalized webpage, please visit https://www.langelands.com