Phyllis was born June 13, 1928 in Browerville to Eli & Pauline (Pollok) Lucas. She attended school in Browerville but was unable to graduate with her class due to tuberculosis. When Phyllis was 17, she was sent to a sanatorium in Wadena for people with the illness. It was while she was there that she met her future husband, Ralph Van Kempen, where he was also a patient. They were married on June 17, 1950 in Browerville.
Phyllis was a homemaker who helped move her family across the states of South Dakota, North Dakota, and Minnesota for Ralph’s railroad job. Phyllis and Ralph moved to Browerville in 1976. Both were avid gardeners and Phyllis canned all the produce from their garden. They had quite a cellar full of canned goods and the kids and grandkids loved “shopping” for goodies every time they visited. Phyllis was involved with Homemakers, church choir, church council and the Red Hat Club for many years.
Phyllis and Ralph moved to Alexandria, MN in October 2011 where she resided until her death.
Phyllis was preceded in death by her husband, Ralph, parents Eli and Pauline, sister Mary Lou Weber and brothers Clarion (Buck), Wilford (Willie), Romaine, Jim, John, and Eli Jr. She is survived by her children, Sharon Kopp, Greg (Julie) Van Kempen, Ruth (Tomm) Pfitzenmaier, Joan (Tom) Woessner, Suzie (Mike) Fierstine and Dan Van Kempen as well as 11 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren. She is also survived by her siblings, Dolly Schmidt, Sylvester Lucas, Dorothy (Rick) Schindler, Walt (Kathy) Lucas, Ed (Mary) Lucas, Donna (Tom) Boyette, and sisters-in-law Pat (Buck) Lucas, Roseann (John) Lucas, Michelle (Jim) Lucas, Pepper (Eli Jr.) Lucas ,Theresa (Howard) Larson, Blanche (Jim) Van Kempen, brother-in-law Charlie (Mary Lou) Weber, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
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