Phyllis Ann Woodard

Resided in Escanaba, MI
Died April 7, 2018

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 or Camp Michigamme, 3667 US Hwy 41, Michigamme, MI 98861.

5 Tributes for “Phyllis Ann Woodard

    My thoughts & prayers go out to the family of Mrs. Woodard. She was my son’s speech therapist up in Manistique. We even traveled to Escanaba in the summer time one day a week for her (and her dog David) to work with our son. From him going from non verbal to speaking to were he never stops talking now (at the age of 28). She will always hold such a special place in our hearts because all that she has taught him. God Bless her & may she rest in peace. Jan LeDuc

    So sorry for your loss. Thoughts & prayers to all Phyllis family. She was beautiful lady with kind heart & very caring. Always a pleasure to visit w her as she was frequent shopper former Super one.
    Michelle Lynch

    Phyllis and I first met at Camp Michigamme in the mid 1950s where we were both campers. Then several years ago In a casual conversation with a woman who occasionally attended our church, I found out that she was also a Woodard and a cousin of Phyllis. She informed me that Phyllis was back in Escanaba. It was just in the last five years that my wife Nancy and I reconnected with her and visited her at her home in Escanaba. We had some wonderful conversations of our time at Camp Michigamme, where life had taken us after camp, and we discovered we were also a part of the Emmaus Community. Our prayers go out to the family and we will always remember this wonderful Christian friend.

    Linda Sherman-Florence, KY. 41042
    My heart is so sad for all in the family. I just received the word of Phyllis passing today (5/9). My husband, Charlie, the son of Albert and Evelyn Sherman just passed on December 13th, and I spoke to Phyllis several times about her trying to make the trip for his memorial. Charlie and Phyllis were quite close through the years, and I know he would be so saddened at her leaving us so soon. I am so happy for the time that Phyllis and I spoke and visited in years gone by. I know the void it will leave all too well, but I pray that all of you will hold her in your hearts and peace will be with you.

    Phyllis has been a wonderful neighbor for the last 3 years and I’ll forever cherish her positivity and hearing her conversations with my kitties visiting with her through the windows. She was always very caring and never too busy to ask how things in my life were going. Thinking of her family during this time of loss.

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