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Phylliss Landstrom


Our beloved Phyliss passed away Saturday morning March 16, 2019 knowing she was loved by family and friends.
Phylliss Jane Straube was born the only child to Grace Nelson and Edwin Straube on June 29, 1926 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Phylliss spent her early childhood years living in Dawson and north Minneapolis. After her mother died and her father remarried, the family moved to the Woodlawn Blvd. house across the street from Lake Nokomis.

It was at Lake Nokomis that Phylliss met “the best thing that ever happened to her”, our father Lyle Landstrom. Phylliss and Lyle became inseparable during their attendance at Roosevelt High School. With plans to spend the rest of their lives together, Phylliss first earned her teacher’s certificate from Miss Woods School while Lyle served in the US Army at the end of WWII and pursued his degree in Architecture.

Just after Phylliss completed the first of her 37 years of teaching, Phylliss and Lyle married on May 28, 1948. After Lyle served in the Korean Conflict and finished his education, Phyllis and Lyle purchased a small house in SW Minneapolis and began their family, where children Ann, Lyle Jr. and Suzy were born. The family subsequently moved into Lyle’s creation built on the adjacent lot next door, where their fourth child Eric was born, and Phylliss declared the large family she yearned for as a child complete.

While raising her children, Phylliss continued teaching in the Minneapolis school district, training and showing her Labradors Retrievers, continuing her education, assisting elderly neighbors with shopping, and dancing weekly with dad at the Officer’s Club. A lover of animals and supporter of the underdog, Phylliss still somehow found time to take in and nurse injured and stray animals, and council, tutor, assist or just plain express love to misunderstood or troubled friends of her children or people in the community.

Anticipating retirement, Phylliss and Lyle purchased the East Crooked Lake place near Nevis and moved to Bloomington, once retired. Though Phylliss’ retirement was at times sidetracked by breast cancer and multiple surgeries, she and Lyle much enjoyed their retirement with family, friends, neighbors and their ever-present Labradors in Bloomington and at the East Crooked Lake cabin, until the fateful day Phylliss’ beloved husband suffered a brain stem stroke at age 74.

With assistance from Eric, Phylliss devotedly cared for Lyle for eight years at home despite suffering her own health issues. Her devotion to her beloved Lyle was a true testament to their love story.

After Lyle died in 2010, Phylliss surprised her children by regaining interest in life. Though always missing Lyle, Phylliss, a consummate story teller with many interesting stories to tell, found great pleasure in regaling her sagas to her Bloomington neighbors and friends in Nevis. After realizing that the East Crooked Lake cabin was where she felt closest to Lyle, Phylliss and Eric moved to the family cabin in 2015, where she took comfort in the presence of Lyle, and pleasure in the beautiful surroundings and making new friends and telling a brand-new audience her stories.

Phylliss was strong, hard-working, practical, humorous, out-spoken, forthright and animal-loving. She was a compassionate champion of the underdog, her children’s dreams and her husband Lyle. We are grateful to have had her as our mother and our example.

Phylliss is predeceased by her husband Lyle; mother Grace Straube; father Ed Straube; stepmother Rose Straube; brother-in-law Larry Landstrom; and many beloved Labradors. She is survived by her children: Ann Hilmanowski (Dan), Lyle Jr. (Delia), Susan (Brian Belanger) and Eric; grandchildren: Beth Hilmanowski, Nathan Hilmanowski (Heather), Marissa Bergson and Samantha Landstrom; great-grandchildren: Gunner, Simo, Cody and Chase; sisters-in-law: Joela Landstrom (Jim Greenland) and Shirlee Landstrom; and by faithful companions: Bill-the-dog and Buddy.

Memorials in her honor may be directed to any charity of choice serving the “underdog”.

A memorial visitation/ open house will be held on Sunday, May 19, 2019 from 2-5 p.m. at the Cease Family Funeral Home Chapel in Nevis. A luncheon will be served for the guests. Sharing time/Eulogy time will begin at 2 p.m.

Arrangements are being handled by the Cease Family Funeral Home of Park Rapids, MN. Friends may leave online condolences at

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