Phyllis Ann (Knitt) Bethke, age 74 of Appleton passed away peacefully on Monday, December 4, 2017, at Cherry Meadows Hospice in Appleton. Phyllis was born in Shawano on February 25, 1943, daughter of the late Henry and Erma (Kortbein) Knitt. She was baptized on February 26, 1943, confirmed on May 25, 1957, and graduated from Clintonville High School in 1961. On February 24 of 1962, she married Leslie Lohff at Christus Lutheran Church in Clintonville. They were later divorced. On September 15, 1999, she married Paul J. Bethke in the gazebo at the Crystal Ballroom in St. John. Phyllis worked at Secura Insurance for almost nineteen years, and for Kimberly Clark in the Neenah Coldspring Facility for eleven years. She retired from Kimberly Clark on December 31, 2006. Phyllis enjoyed polka and country music, traveling, playing cards, sewing, gardening, and volunteering at Riverview Lutheran Church and at the Bargain Garden. She also enjoyed spending time with her children and grandchildren.
Phyllis is survived by three children: Cindy (Randy) Roberts, Amy Widman, and Jeff (Rhonda) Lohff; her step-children: Jim (Maggie) Bethke, Paula Bartels, Lori (Paul) Vandaalwyk, and Lisa (Lee) Meyerhofer. Her grandchildren are Vance Roberts, Amber Johnson, Leslie Mears, Rebecca Cifaldi, Brandon (Deanna) Widman, and Jada Lohff. Her step-grandchildren include Travis Bartels, Crystal (Ryan) Weyers, Tonya (Michael) Dix, Joe (Carrie) Vandaalwyk, and Glen and Erika Meyerhofer. Her great-grandchildren are Madison and Diane Willis and Coralyn Widman. Her step-great-granchildren are Caleb and Jaxen Dix, Camden Weyers, Vivian and Henry Vandaalwyk, and a child soon to be born to Crystal and Ryan. She is further survived by her sisters: Sandra (James) Gast, Susan (Ronald) Miller, and Bonnie (Dick) Olson, as well as numerous other relatives and friends. Phyllis was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Paul, and her twin brother and sister, Robert and Rose.
The Christian Funeral Service for Phyllis will be held at 11:00 AM on AM on Monday, December 11, 2017, at RIVERVIEW LUTHERAN CHURCH, 136 W. Seymour Street in Appleton, with Rev. Dennis Belter officiating. Family and friends are invited to gather on Sunday from 4:00 PM until 7:00 PM at the Wichmann Funeral Home, 537 N. Superior Street in Appleton, and again Monday at the church from 9:30 AM until the time of the service. Phyllis will be buried next to her husband, Paul, at Sacred Heart Cemetery in Sherwood.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Riverview Lutheran Church.
The family would like to extend their sincere thanks to Phyllis’ dear friends – Sandy Diersen, Gerry Hofacker, and Sharon Schulz – for their faithful friendship, constant prayers, and unwavering support during these difficult times. We will always remember your kindness.
Thanks also to the entire staff at Cherry Meadows. You cared for our mom like she was your own, and your compassion will never be forgotten by our grateful family.