Cover photo for Phyllis H. Dintenfass's Obituary
Phyllis H. Dintenfass Profile Photo
1942 Phyllis 2022

Phyllis H. Dintenfass

December 5, 1942 — November 22, 2022


Phyllis Dintenfass, wife, mother, teacher, and artist, passed away after a short illness on November 22, 2022. She is survived by her husband, Mark, her two sons, David and Nathan, and their wives Katherine and Christina; her three adored grandchildren, Dylan, Kai and Alexander; and her younger sister, Marian. Her family now invites you to join us in a gathering at Wichmann Funeral Home, 527 N Superior St., Appleton, on Saturday, April 8th at 11:00 a.m., to commemorate and celebrate her life. Visitation will begin at 9:30 a.m. and lunch will be served after the ceremony.

Phyllis was born on December 5, 1942 in Brooklyn, New York, married in 1962, completed her education at Queens College, spent a year teaching grade school in Harlem, at which point she and her husband made the life- changing decision to join the Peace Corps. They were assigned to teaching jobs in Ethiopia and spent the next two years in Addis Ababa, where Phyllis taught in a teacher training school and Mark at Haile Selassie University. The couple always believed that those years opened up for them all the possibilities of travel and achievement and connection to the wider world that formed the rest of their life together.

Peace Corps volunteers were allowed a month vacation in the middle of their tour and the couple used it to travel in Kenya, where, one day between safaris and beaches, they visited a Maasai bead market, which sparked what became a lifelong love of beadwork of all kinds. She would eventually go on to become internationally well-known in the world of professional beaders, teaching at bead shows, publishing original patterns in important bead magazines, and exhibiting her work both locally and at bead shows all over the the country.

After Ethiopia, Phyllis and her husband spent two years in Iowa City at the University of Iowa, where Phyllis earned an M.A in Education.. Then the couple moved to Appleton, where Mark had been hired to teach at Lawrence University, and Phyllis taught elementary school for two years before moving on to the Fox Valley Technical College, where she spent the rest of her career as various capacities as a teacher and administrator before retiring in 2005. Because of Lawrence’s overseas campuses, the couple were able to spend a year in Germany and three different years in London, and used much of their free time to travel all over Europe, where Phyllis painted many water colors of old buildings and sun-baked fields. After retirement they were able to add Greece, the Czech Republic, Peru, the Galapagos, Portugal, China, Mexico, and the Caribbean islands to the long list of sites they came to know.

A pretty good life, she liked to say, for two kids from Brooklyn.

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Service Schedule

Past Services


Saturday, April 8, 2023

9:30 - 11:00 am (Central time)

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Celebration of Life

Saturday, April 8, 2023

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)


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Guided Time of Sharing and Celebrating Phyllis

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