Phyllis Woodard of Escanaba passed into God’s hands on Saturday, April 7th, 2018 at the age of 76.
Phyllis is survived by her children Ted (Amy) Wolkenhauer of Bellevue, Washington and Carolyn Wolkenhauer; siblings, Carol (Gary) Pierce of McKinney, Texas, Robert (Judy) Woodard of Ford River, Michigan. She is preceded in death by her father Benjamin Woodard, mother Naomi Woodard, sister Mary Woodard and brother John (Rhoda) Woodard.
Phyllis was born on February 21, 1942 in Escanaba, MI to Ben and Naomi Woodard. She graduated from Escanaba High School in 1960 and continued her education with a BS in Speech Pathology from Northern Michigan University in 1967. After moving to Iron Mountain, MI, Phyllis began working for Iron Mountain Public Schools as a speech pathologist. While in Iron Mountain she met and married John Wolkenhauer. The couple moved to Washington State and welcomed 2 children into their home. Phyllis set about dedicating her time to raising them. Her children remember her as a kind, gentle, and a caring mother who encouraged them to pursue their goals. In the mid 80’s, Phyllis traveled to Delaware, OH to follow a calling from God to pursue a career as a Methodist pastor. After receiving her MA of Divinity from the United Theological Seminary in 1987 she served parishes in Ohio, Michigan and Washington State. In 1990 she returned to her home in Escanaba Michigan where she would spend the next 20 years as both a speech pathologist and bereavement counselor.
Phyllis was a generous and passionate individual who loved her community, and who strove to be as active as her physical body would allow. She was an involved and dedicated member of the area women’s groups, art groups and often volunteered at local nursing care facilities holding weekly reading groups.
A funeral is scheduled for Thursday, May 24th, 2018 at 11 a.m. at Skradski Family Funeral Home in Escanaba, MI. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Phyllis’s life. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Camp Michigamme at https://campmichigamme.org or Camp Michigamme, 3667 US Hwy 41, Michigamme, MI 98861.