Williams, Phyllis Dorothe

Phyllis Dorothe Williams (nee Janz)

Phyllis Williams, a long-time resident of the Souris area, died August 7, 2015 with her family at her side. Phyllis was born July 2, 1928 at Minitonas, Manitoba to Archie and Bea Janz. She was the youngest of their five children. She told us stories about helping her father on their farm and of the many childhood pranks she pulled with her sisters and brother. Tragedy struck her family when her brother, Henry, was killed in a farm accident at the age of seven.

Mum left home at age 14 to accompany her sister Jean on her first teaching job at Rosa School, near Pine River, Manitoba. Both Jean and Mum told great stories about their life together at the rural school. Mum moved to Souris, to help her sister, Isabel Janz with her sons, Murray & Dennis. They have a strong bond with Auntie Phil as a result. In Souris, she worked as a seamstress and hospital aide. Here she met her husband and best friend, Ross Williams. They married November 13, 1948 and produced a brood of eight children; Lynne (Paul Merkeley), Cranbrook, B.C.; Gerry (Carole Campbell), Souris, Manitoba; Ginny (Ron Zdan), Saskatoon, Saskatchewan; Brenda (Gerald Puhach), Elphinstone, Manitoba; Holly (Ken White), Brandon, Manitoba; Kathy Hainsworth, Souris, Manitoba; Byron (Margaret McGowan), Winnipeg, Manitoba; and Guy (Rhonda Zimmerman), Souris, Manitoba. There are 27 grandchildren; Hayley (Graeme Howland), Carley & Kelsey Merkeley; Amanda, Laura, Sarah, Ben, Gina & Johnny Williams; Jason, Ashley & Nikki Zdan; Zane & Chantel Puhach; Caitlin, Ryan & Courtney White; Scott, Cassie, Chase & Luc Hainsworth; Josh & Sam Williams, Wes Poneira; Matthew, Brianna & Tori Williams. She was blessed with two great grandchildren, Eli Puhach & Ryder Hainsworth.

Phyllis and Ross worked their mixed farm near Menteith until their retirement in 1985. She was known for her hard work and beautiful vegetable and flower gardens. She was a skilled seamstress, using her talents to craft a diverse range of clothing from wedding dresses to uniforms. She was very active in the community teaching 4-H sewing, cooking, home design, and public speaking, being honoured with a 4-H Lifetime Achievement Award. She belonged to the Toastmistress Club, the CWL, the Whitefield-Breezelawn Guild, and the Souris Drop-In Center.

Phyllis and Ross were both staunch, life-long supporters of the NDP. They were influential in raising funds to build the Souris Arena and the Souris Community Hall. Furthermore, they were passionate about the development of education, sports and music in their children. Both graciously welcomed and shared their home with others, always making room for that extra someone at their dinner table.

Upon retirement Phyllis and Ross moved to Souris, where they spent many happy years together. After Ross’s death in 1996, Phyllis continued to support her family, church and community, residing in their Souris home until 2011, spending her remaining three years in the Souris Personal Care Home.

Mum is survived by her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, sister, Jean (Rocky) Forest of BC and sister-in-law Shirley (Carl) Mitton of AB, numerous nieces and nephews, neighbours and friends. She was predeceased by her husband, Ross, and two sisters, Isabel (Doug) Janz and Dornie (Gerry) Bouchard, and her brother, Henry Janz., Chas (Mae) Williams, Jack (Helen) Williams, Jean (Wally) Guy, Ken (Ruth) Williams, Ruth (Stan) Berry and Harvey Williams.
Funeral Mass was held at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Souris on August 12, 2015 with a private interment in the Souris & Glenwood Cemetery. In memory of Phyllis, donations may be made to the Souris Hospital Palliative Care Fund c/o Prairie Mountain Health Box 10 Souris, Manitoba R0K 2C0.

13 thoughts on “Williams, Phyllis Dorothe”

  1. My heart is with you all at this time. Many, many memories I will have of times spent with you all. Prayers are with you.

  2. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. We remember you Mom as a very humble and caring woman. Cherish your memories of this super mother and grandmother.

  3. We are all very sorry for the loss of your lovely Mother. She was a little doll. She greeted me every time, I was at the Souris P.C. to visit my Mom. She truly was interested in all our lives, It always shocked me as she had such a huge brood of children of her own, and she still make a fuss with the extended nieces and nephews. We all will miss our Aunt. MY families sends our deepest prayer for Aunt Phyllis and all her family
    Sincerely Margie Janz David and Gail Janz Bob Wilson and Marilyn Forsyth and Family

  4. Our sincere sympathy to you all. Your parents where very fine people. You will miss your mother in the days to come.

  5. Holly , Kathy & Family…..
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you all at this difficult time.
    May the love & caring of family and friends give you strength right now……then fond memories bring you peace……..
    We’re sharing your sorrow.
    Randy & Terry

  6. The Williams Family

    Thinking of you all during this difficult time, our thoughts and prayers are with you.

  7. Gerry, Carole and family,
    I have fond memories of your mom Gerry. Whenever I would walk by her house and if she was outside she would be busy in either the front yard or in the back amongst her beautiful flowers. She had lovely flowers.She had a cheerful smile and was always ready for a quick visit.When Gracelyn was born I wanted to be called “Granny” just like she was. But unfortunately Gracelyn called me Nanny instead of Granny! Hugs to you and your family and may the memories of happier moments help you in the days to come.

    take care
    Ruth Schroeder

  8. Sorry for your loss. I have fond memories of Phyllis and growing up in the area. I’m sure she will be greatly missed.

    Bruce Gordon and family

  9. We hope the wonderful memories you have of your mom give you comfort to deal with your loss. Sincerely, Brenda & Garry Davidson.

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