Phyllis Jo (Phid) Groshart Shunk -- lover of poetry, theater, and literature -- died Sunday, November 17, just six days after her beloved husband Delwyn (Del) E. Shunk passed away. She was 90 years old.
Funeral services will be held at 10:00 a.m. Wednesday, November 20, 2013 at the United Methodist Church in Chappell with Pastor Ezekiel Koech officiating. Burial will follow in the Chappell Cemetery.
Friends and family may visit with the family at the Holechek Funeral Home in Chappell on Tuesday from 2:00 to 6:00 PM
Holechek Funeral Home and Cremations of Chappell is serving the Shunk family.
Phid was born in Elwood, Nebraska on August 7, 1923, to A.F. (Speck) Groshart and Rose Pearle Lydiatt Groshart, and she moved with her parents and older sister Mary Helen to Lodgepole, Nebraska in 1925, where her younger sister NormaLee was born. Phid graduated from Lodgepole High School in 1940, and after spending two years working for the First State Bank, she moved to Los Angeles, California, where she worked for nearly two years as a secretary at Lockheed Aircraft in the Final Assembly Plant of the P-38 Lightning fighter plane.
Del and Phid knew each other from childhood; she joked often that they slept together when they were two years old. He proposed in San Francisco, and they married on December 25, 1944, when Del was on leave from the Navy. Phid accompanied her new husband to Corpus Christi, Texas, where Del was stationed as a pilot at the Naval Air Station until the war ended. They returned to Chappell in 1945 and had three children: Sandra Jo (1946), Susan Jo (1950), and John Karl (1961).
Phid joined the Lodgepole United Methodist Church during childhood and transferred to Chappell in 1946; she served the congregation as a choir member and as a Sunday and Bible School teacher. She volunteered with the Girl Scouts of America and as a Cub Scout Den Mother, and she spent countless hours reading to children at the school and library, one of her greatest pleasures. Phid also worked as a part time secretary, took dictation from U.S. Congresswoman Virginia Smith, and spent 17 years in the lab at Leprino Foods, retiring in 1986. She acted in local theater productions, and throughout her life, she wrote poetry, read avidly, and finished many Sunday crossword puzzles.
Phid told her children that she wanted to live just as long as her husband so she could do everything possible to ease his passage. Once that goal was realized, she gave her children and grandchildren one last gift: She understood her family needed her and wanted her to be with them at Del's memorial service. So she gathered her strength one more time and attended, just over 48 hours before she passed away herself. Our gratitude and admiration go with her.
A devoted wife, mother, and grandmother, Phid found good in everyone and bore no grudges. Her last advice, as she wrote it:
To whom it may concern:
Look for the good in everyone
And bear no grudges
Hate is a powerful motivator - and not for good
Love is better - and stronger
Let your light shine - it may guide the way for someone else.
Preceded in death by her parents Speck and Pearle Groshart, her husband Del, and her sister and brother-in-law Mary Helen and John Ehlinger, Phid is survived by her sister NormaLee Groshart (Don Cook); her three children Sandra Ashley (Jean Dorsey), Susan Primmer (Fred), and John Shunk (Wendy Caspari); her five grandchildren David Ashley, Justin Primmer, Tanya Primmer, Laura Shunk, and Adam Shunk; her great-granddaughter Lily Primmer; her nephews and niece Mike Ehlinger, Kent Hoskins, Dan Hoskins, and Jeannie Ehlinger Cruz and their families; and many friends.
Memorials can be sent to Chappell Memorial Library, 289 Babcock Avenue, Chappell, Nebraska, 69129.