Phyllis Irene Rood Holmes, 96, died Friday, June 16, 2017, in
peace. She will be missed by family and friends.
Phyllis was born in Goodrich, Mich., Dec. 10, 1920, to Paul
and Alice (Enlow) Rood.
She graduated from Covert High School in Michigan in 1939
and from Michigan State University in 1943 with a bachelor degree in home economics.
She met George Wendall Holmes and they married in South
Haven, Mich., Dec. 10, 1944. Both her first child, Cheryl A. Holmes, and her
second, Gary W. Holmes, were born in Michigan.
The family moved to Chicago, Ill., so George could go to
graduate school. During their time in Chicago their third child, Randall A.
Holmes, was born.
The family moved to Waukegan, Ill., and during that time she
graduated from the University of Chicago, in 1971 at age of 51, with a master
degree in social work.
She had a diversity of professions, nursery school teacher,
hospital dietitian, Girl Scout leader, home economics teacher and librarian,
adoption facilitator and school social worker in Barrington, Ill., where she
continued the work she loved for 20 years until retiring in 1991 at the age of
She was a strong advocate for women’s rights which remained
a passion for her throughout her life.
During her time in Illinois, she was a committed member of
the North Shore Unitarian Universalist Church in Deerfield, Ill., for 45 years.
She was proud to serve as the first woman board president in 1979.
After retiring she moved to her little white home on Mill
Street in Amherst to be closer to her children. She was a committed member of
the community, volunteering at the Lettie W. Jensen Library and becoming a
library board member.
She was a member of the Unitarian Universalist Church in
Stevens Point. She moved in 2012 to Whispering Pines Assisted Living in Plover.
Phyllis enjoyed nature (particularly bird watching),
reading, ballet, scientific subjects, current events and travel. She traveled
the world which included her favorite trip to China with other educators. She
often traveled with her sister Shirley, creating many extraordinary memories on
their Alaskan and river cruises.
She is preceded in death by her mother, Alice (Enlow-Rood)
Ewers; stepfather Henry Ewers; her father Paul J. Rood; her stepmother Edna
(Anderson) Rood; brother, John Rood; sisters, Ann (Rood) Kloac, Charlotte
(Rood) Holm, Patricia (Ewers) Richmond and Shirley (Ewers) Warfield; her son, Randall
A. Holmes; ex-husband, George W. Holmes; and a close sister-in-law, Polly (Holmes)
Survivors include her daughter Cheryl A. Holmes (Dan Lamers);
a son, Gary (Teresa) Holmes; grandsons, Christopher I. Holmes (Jenny E.
Balisle), Ryan A. Holmes and Buddy (Stephanie) Holmes-Lamers; brothers, Paul J.
Rood Jr., Richard (Colleen) Rood; and many loved family and friends.
Many thanks from Cheryl, Gary and Teresa to the wonderfully
dedicated, respectful and caring staff we count as friends at Whispering Pines
in Plover and to the dedicated Hospice team, especially nurse Jill, who helped
us during our last few hours with Phyllis.
Phyllis, you will be missed, but you will be forever Loved.
Per Phyllis’s wishes, there will be no services held. The
Jungers-Holly Funeral Home of Amherst is assisting the family.