Phyllis Mae Smith Stone

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Phyllis Mae (Smith) Stone

Phyllis Mae (Smith) Stone
November 17, 1924 – September 18, 2016
 
Phyllis Mae (Smith) Stone, age 91, of Colfax, WI, formerly of Benson, MN, died Sunday, September 18, 2016 at Colfax Health & Rehabilitation Center.  Visitation will be held from 4 – 7 p.m. Sunday, September 25, 2016 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Benson.  Visitation will continue from 10 – 11 a.m., followed by the funeral at 11 a.m., Monday, September 26, 2016 at Trinity Lutheran Church.  Interment will follow in the Benson City Cemetery.  Arrangements are with Zniewski Funeral Home in Benson.
              
Phyllis Mae (Smith) Stone was born November 17, 1924 in Six Mile Grove Township in Benson, Minnesota. After a long and full life, she passed away peacefully on September 18, 2016 in Colfax, Wisconsin. She was 91 years old.

Phyllis was known by everyone she encountered to be extraordinarily kind, gentle, modest and generous. She was honest, sweet and true, never passing judgement. She inspired these qualities, sowed by her strong religious faith and moral convictions, in others. She was a loving and affectionate mother, grandmother and great-grandmother and she found immense joy in her family, particularly her grandchildren. She took pride in her active involvement with her church, Trinity Lutheran Church in Benson, Minnesota, where she managed the library and was member of the Women of the ELCA Group for many years.

The daughter of the Commodore J. and Anna Edith (Cooley) Smith, Phyllis grew up in Six Mile Grove where she attended country school. She attended Pilgrim Congregational Church, where she was also baptized. In 1942, she graduated from Benson High School and in 1946, she married Andrew (Bud) Stone at Trinity Lutheran Church in Benson. Phyllis and Andrew had two sons, Daniel and Robert, four grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.

She loved to travel: she and her husband traveled to his Army reunions on an annual basis and spent their winters in their favorite place--Lake Havasu City--for many years. Travel highlights included several trips to Branson, Missouri; attending the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee; a private White House tour and sightseeing in Washington, DC; and visiting a working farm and seeing a bull-riding contest in Costa Rica. She enjoyed country music, playing games with her sons and grandchildren (favorites were Rummy and Scrabble), reading (and re-reading) presidential memoirs, and keeping her home. She drafted an obituary for herself, which included mention of the family cabin, purchased in 1976, where she, her husband, sons, daughters-in-law, and grandchildren shared many happy times over several years playing games, boat riding, swimming and enjoying the company of family.

She wrote two autobiographical books, Airplanes and Elephants (1999), in which each chapter was entitled one of her favorite things (elephants, mountains, the Bible, grandchildren, cousins, trees, clouds, clocks, pictures, pillows, airplanes, country music and sunsets), and parlayed into memories about her childhood, growing up, marriage, travel and family. Her second book was entitled Pickles and Peanuts (2005), and was an epilogue containing her ongoing travel adventures, favorite quotations and family memories.
 
She was preceded in death by her beloved husband Andrew; son Daniel L. Stone; granddaughter Denise M. Stone, her parents Commodore J. and Anna Edith Smith; her brother Milburn Smith and her sisters Helen Prusia and Alice Hagen.
 
She is survived by her sister Evelyn Stone of Benson, MN; son Robert (Connie) Stone of Colfax, WI; granddaughter Tara Stone Medina (Carlo) of Herndon, VA; grandson Daniel (Melinda) Stone of Paynesville, MN; grandson Justin (Andrea) Stone of Brooklyn Park, MN; grandson Nathan (Cassandra) Stone of Elk River, MN; daughter-in-law Linda Stone of Champlin, MN; and 7 great-grandchildren: Kennady Stone, Harper Stone, Madeline Stone, Gianluca Medina, Mateo Medina, Easton Stone, and Case Stone, as well as numerous nieces and nephews and many other loved ones.

Memorial donations may be made to Trinity Lutheran Church in Benson, Minnesota.

“Life is very fragile and passes quickly by. Love is the most important ingredient. I hope I have left a few pleasant memories behind.” – Phyllis Stone, Airplanes and Elephants

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