Phyllis Maxine Claridge passed peacefully into the presence of Jesus, March 12, 2022, in Kalispell.
Phyllis was born May 7, 1932 in Lodgepole, South Dakota, at home with the help of a midwife. She was the third of five children born to L.D. and Merle Clark. The family moved from South Dakota, to the Flathead Bissell area in 1935. She attended Bissell School and graduated from Flathead County High School in May, 1950. June 4, 1950, she married Lorren Claridge at Lorren’s grandparents, Joe and Carrie Claridge’s West Valley home. 50 years later they renewed their wedding vows in front of the same fireplace at the same home with all their family in attendance! They were married 54 years until Lorren’s passing in 2005. Lorren’s work with the State Highway Department kept them moving until they put down roots back in Kalispell so the children could stay in one school district. Phyllis felt the family they raised was their greatest accomplishment. Phyllis loved her work as a licensed practical nurse at Kalispell General Hospital. When she could no longer work because of a diagnosis of MS, she volunteered for Hospice. Phyllis was a very loving caregiver. Phyllis was an accomplished knitter, crocheter, seamstress and artist. She made each of her 10 grandchildren a custom sweater that suited each little personality. They were all so proud of their very own “made by grandma” sweater! She cherished her 10 grands plus 26 great-grands. Grandma Phyllis was known for her always full jelly bean jar and yummy molasses cookies for the “old” and the young kids! Phyllis was an active member of the Methodist Church where she had many precious friends. She also treasured her Wednesday morning group of Bible study gals who graciously met at her house when she could no longer drive.
Phyllis was preceded in death by her husband, her parents, her older sister Carol and, recently, her sister-in-law Pat Clark. Phyllis’ son Don, wife Naomi, son Jerry, wife Melody, daughter Debi Willcut, husband John, son Greg and wife Paula survive her, along with her grandchildren, Kimberly Helseth (Chris), Tanner Claridge (Katie), Angie Dedera (Danny), JD Claridge (Kara), Tiffany Warren (Barry), Justin Willcut (Deann), Johnny Willcut (Brynn), Stryder Claridge (Sarah), Spencer Claridge (Taalyr), and Sierra Claridge. And never to be forgotten, her beloved great grandchildren! She is survived by her brother Bud Clark, sisters Rita White (Herb) and Karen Obermayer (Bill); also, her sisters-in-law Evie Heuscher, Verla Guerrero and Marilyn Cartwright (Bob) along with many nieces and nephews.
Our mom loved the Lord. Her quiet faith was apparent and influenced her family. She was a loyal and faithful servant. Her example spoke volumes. Mom was so cherished and loved. A graveside service will be held Friday, May 6 at 11:00 a.m. at C. E. Conrad Memorial Cemetery, and a celebration of Mom’s life will be Saturday, May 7, 2022 at 11:00 a.m. at Adventure Church. There will be a notification in the Daily Inter Lake. Memorial contributions may be sent to the MS Society or the donor’s choice.
Buffalo Hill Funeral Home is caring for the family.