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Phyllis's Story

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Phyllis Luckritz earned her wings as she passed away peacefully on Friday, June 30th, 2017 with her daughter, son, and sister by her side at the Alverno after dementia held her hostage for the past year.
Visitation will be 4:00 to 8:00 on Wednesday, July 5th, at Pape Funeral Home. A celebration of Life service will be held Thursday, July 6th, at 10:30 at the funeral home. Burial will follow the service at Clinton Lawn Cemetery. Casket bearers will be her two grandsons, Ryan and Josh VanEvery, as well as her nephews Todd Dierks, Don Dierks, Jeff Dierks, and Michael Kroll.
Phyllis was born at Jane Lamb Hospital in Clinton, Iowa on November 13, 1928, the first child of Stanley and Dorothy Hansen Dierks. She married Robert Luckritz on April 2nd, 1949
Phyllis was the best mom a kid could have ever asked for. She had the kindest smile and as the kids believed, eyes in the back of her head!! She loved her three children, Sandra, Larry and Gary. She always made time to ride bikes, roller skate, float down the Mighty Mississippi in inner tubes, water ski, snow ski, pack lunches to eat in the woods, and have lots of slumber parties. She was a brownie leader, a cub scout den mother, and, living on the Mississippi River, she saw that her children learned to swim.
Phyllis was a very busy and energetic lady who did so many things during her life. She worked as an operator at the telephone company with her best friend, Gloria Maskel, and sister, Gwen, eventually working her way up to secretary to the wire chief. While her children were growing up, she was a stay at home mom. She made wedding cakes, panorama eggs, and spun sugar candy dishes, one of which made it to President Eisenhower in the White House. She worked for Bausch & Lomb grinding lenses for eyeglasses and she worked in the billing office at Lou Marges. In 1986, she and her sister, Gwen Miller, bought the Fashion Shoppe on Main Avenue and became proud business owners. Phyllis also became a clown with her sister and they were fondly known as Loony Balloony and Daffy Daisy. She was very excited when they were pictured on a postcard for Clinton, Iowa in their clown costumes and Joey Jalopy. She was a member of the Lyons Business and Professionals, Clinton Chamber of Commerce, WaTanYe, Mercy Auxilliary and a lifetime member of Midwest Pets For Life.
Phyllis loved her grandsons, Ryan and Josh and spent so much quality time with them as they were growing up. She would take them on treasure hunts, hikes, picnics, and even came to celebrate their birthdays at Box Tree Farm when they lived in Launton, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom. She also adored her great granddaughter, Rylee Anne.
Phyllis loved travelling and was able to visit so many wonderful countries. She cruised to Alaska with her brothers and sister and she and Gwen cruised to the Bahamas. She was always adventurous and enjoyed excitement as she rode a zipline over the jungle,and swam with the dolphins and manta rays. She rode a camel and an elephant. She kissed the Blarney Stone in Ireland. She attended a medieval banquet at Warwick Castle in England, and she travelled to Europe numerous times.
Phyllis was the best wife, mom, mother-in-law, aunt, grandma, great grandma and friend anyone could have asked for. She will be dearly remembered and missed by all who knew her. She is survived by her daughter, Sandra (Don) Bartels of Clinton, and her son, Gary (Mary) Luckritz of Tampa, Florida, Grandsons Ryan (Julie) VanEvery of Des Moines, Iowa, Josh (Kaprice) VanEvery of Waukee, Iowa, step grandchildren Dan (Sheralyn) Bartels of Clinton, Iowa, Steve Fye, Dave Fye, and Bill Fye, all of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Shelby (Richard) Peters of Virginia Beach, Virginia, Great Granddaughter Rylee Anne VanEvery of Des Moines, Iowa, her sister and best friend, Gwen (Merle) Miller, brothers, Bob Dierks, Herman (Sharon) Dierks, and Stan (Kay) Dierks, all of Clinton, Iowa, a special friend, Gloria Maskel of Davenport, Iowa, her beloved cat, Smokey who now resides at Prairie Hills as a resident cat in the Memory Unit, and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Bob, in 2005, her son, Larry, in 2005, her parents, her nephew, Brent Dierks, her brother-in-law, Wilfred (Brick) Kroll, her sister-in-law, Darline Dierks and her beloved pets, Gizmo and Annie. May the fun and games commence in Heaven when Loony Balloony pedals through the Pearly gates on her Joey Jalopy with balloon animals for all.
Phyllis family would like to thank The Alverno, Prairie Hills, the nurses, staff, and residents who shared their lives with her these last few years. Also thank you to Dr. Barakat and Genesis Hospice for keeping her comfortable as she made the transition from here to Heaven. Each and every one of you played such an important role with your smiles, your visits, and the care and compassion you showed her. And thank you to Prairie Hills for allowing her beloved cat, Smokey to continue residing in the memory unit where he provides, love, companionship, and comfort to all.
In lieu of flowers, and because of her love for her pets and all living creatures, memorial contributions can be made to Midwest Pets for Life.
Published on July 2, 2017
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