Phyllis Kalmbachof Chelsea, MI, aged 91, died peacefully in her sleep, after a short illness, Tuesday, January 24, 2023. She was born July 18, 1931 in Ann Arbor Michigan, the daughter of Walter A. and Elsie M. Heydlauff Kalmbach.

Phyllis graduated from Eastern Michigan University in 1955 with a degree in education, and went on to earn a Masters Degree from the University of Michigan. She taught elementary school, mainly second grade, in Jackson until she retired in 1989.  She was also an active member of the Beta Sigma Phi Sorority for many years. Phyllis was the organist for Salem Grove Methodist Church for over fifty years. She also served as the church treasurer, taught vacation Bible school many summers, and helped with the Christmas tree/Craft Sale every December.

Phyllis had many hobbies including sewing, knitting, and crocheting.  She crocheted beautiful lace baptism dresses for two of her great nieces.  She was very interested in genealogy and has done extensive research on the family tree.  She loved to travel and went to Germany one summer with her cousin Gloria to visit Heydlauff cousins in Stuttgart. She also enjoyed a family cruise to Alaska with her brother and family, and, in later years, accompanying the family to Florida to celebrate the Christmas holidays. Phyllis was an avid lifetime learner. She took advantage of the many opportunities offered at the Chelsea Senior Center, traveling, and taking genealogy and computer classes. She was also active in community service including Meals on Wheels. In addition to her family, one of Phyllis’s greatest loves was the family cottage on Clear Lake where she summered most of her adult life. She also loved the family farm and gazing across at the fields most summer evenings in her later years as she sat on the front porch of the old family home.

She was preceded in death by her brother Walter A. Kalmbach Jr. and her sister-in-law Virginia Richards Kalmbach of Grand Rapids. Phyllis is survived and will be sadly missed by a niece, Ann (David) Kalmbach Moore of Caledonia; a nephew, Kevin (Debra) Kalmbach of Ludington; a great-nephew Jeffrey Moore; and great nieces Megan Moore, Marla Woodward, and Kayla Williams.

A graveside service will be held Saturday, August 12, 2023 at Salem Grove Cemetery at 2:30pm with Pastor Mary Barret officiating. Memorial contributions may be made out to Salem Grove United Methodist Church 3320 Notten Rd., Grass Lake, Michigan 49240. Arrangements were entrusted to Cole Funeral Chapel. 

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#4 Myers Maryann 2023-02-06 19:03
Sorry to hear of your loss. I spent time with Phyllis during travel with the Chelsea Senior Center and seeing her do craft projects. She always had her pretty smile.
She will be missed.
#3 Rowena AtLee 2023-01-29 18:59
Phyllis was a very special lady. She always had a sweet smile and plenty of laughs. I met her at the Senior Center and enjoyed many visits with her. We especially enjoyed sharing an interest in genealogy. My condolences to her family.
#2 Dale Heydlauff 2023-01-28 08:06
I was fortunate to see Phyllis many times throughout my life at church and family events. Not once did I ever see her without her beautiful smile and cheerful disposition. We were blessed to have her brighten our lives for many years. Our loss is God’s gain as she knows brightens heaven.
#1 Mr. & Mrs. Ball 2023-01-27 18:13
Please accept our sincere condolences you will all remain in our thoughts and continued prayers.
William & Sarah Ball

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