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Phyllis Fayne (Davis) Mitchell (2013)


Posted By: Mary Welty Hart (email)
Date: 11/19/2013 at 20:38:45

Des Moines Register, Des Moines, Iowa
November 10, 2013


Surrounded by loving family, Phyllis Fayne (Davis) Mitchell, 77, of West Des Moines, IA died from complications caused by Alzheimer's Disease at Mercy Hospice in Johnston, IA on November 17, 2013.

Phyllis was born in Stuart, Iowa on September 30, 1936, the first daughter of William & Cleo (Brittain) Davis. She attended Winterset Schools and graduated in 1953. Phyllis married Maurice Mitchell Sr. on December 20, 1953, and the two resided in Winterset before moving to West Des Moines in 1987 to be closer to their four children.

Phyllis is survived by her husband, Maurice Mitchell Sr.; children and grandchildren, Debra Mitchell & Larry Phillips; Maurice Jr. (Maury), Lisa, Tucker & Tanner Mitchell; Marvin, Mason, Morgan & Michael Mitchell; Joni, David, Mitchell, Grant & Mara Schnoes. Other survivors include three sisters, Irma Hohneke, Dee Hansen, Saundra Funke and numerous nieces and nephews.

Phyllis was preceded in death by her parents, stepfather, brother, nephew and granddaughter Mary Frances Schnoes.

While Phyllis worked at a variety of companies prior to her retirement from Hospice of Central Iowa in 2005, her most rewarding jobs were in the healthcare industry including Winterset Memorial Hospital, Mercy West, and HCI. Being a part of the caregiving process was very natural for Phyllis. In fact her family often called her "Dr. Phyllis" because she was there to diagnosis whenever someone was ill.

Music also played an important role in Phyllis's life. She was a member of the First Christian Church in Winterset, IA, where for many years she was the church organist and pianist. Phyllis also gave piano lessons to a number of young people from Winterset. Even as Phyllis's health declined she was still drawn to the sound of music. Throughout her illness Maurice would have music playing in the house. Until her body became too weak Phyllis sat beside her daughters and granddaughter Mara at the piano. Sometimes she would put her hands on the keys and "play" and "sing". While the sounds Phyllis made were not often recognizable, the music calmed her. She's probably playing the organ and singing in heaven right now!

But most of all, for Phyllis it was about her family. From baking her famous brownies, lemon dessert and cherry cake to playing with her children and grandchildren, Phyllis did it all for her family. Even in the latter months of her life Phyllis would reach out with a weary hand if her instincts told her someone was in pain. She will be forever in our memories and hold a special place in our hearts.

A private celebration of Phyllis's life will be held at Saint Francis of Assisi in West Des Moines, IA. The family will greet visitors from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Saturday, November 23, 2013 at Saint Francis of Assisi at 7075 Ashworth Rd in West Des Moines. Phyllis's cremains will be buried near her granddaughter Mary Frances at Resthaven Cemetery in the Mitchell-Phillips-Schnoes plots.

Thanks to the -Greater Iowa Support Group, Dr. Steven Adelman, Mercy Hospice Home Care staff, Mercy Hospice-Johnston staff and Wesley Adult Day Services staff for helping our family cope, learn and care for Phyllis the past eight years. A special thanks to Jen and Courtney of Mercy Hospice who provided Phyllis's home care assistance this year. Jen and Courtney, you treated Phyllis with dignity and respect; your love and compassion will never be forgotten.

It's often said that Alzheimer's disease is more difficult for the family than the patient. Without the love and emotional support from our family, friends, peers, coworkers and everyone who has listened to our story over the past eight years we couldn't have made it to the other side of this journey. THANK YOU!

In lieu of flowers the family respectfully requests that any memorial contributions be sent in Phyllis Mitchell's honor to -Greater Iowa or Mercy Hospice.

McLaren's Chapel at Resthaven Cemetery

Gravestone Photo

Madison Obituaries maintained by Kent Transier.
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