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Phyllis J. Tanke - Brookings: Feb. 14, 1921 – May 4, 2014

Posted: Wednesday, May 7th, 2014




Phyllis Jean (Hutt) Tanke, 93, formerly of Estelline, died Sunday, May 4, 2014, at the Brookings hospital with her daughter by her side.

Funeral services are at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at Our Savior Lutheran Church in Brookings. Visitation is from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at Rude’s Funeral Home in Brookings. Burial is in the Hillcrest Cemetery in Estelline.

Phyllis was born Feb. 14, 1921, to Fred and Agnes (Coulter) Hutt at Ellsworth, Minn. At age 5, she and her family moved to Estelline where she attended grade school and high school, graduating in May 1939. During her younger years, she was employed at two beauty shops, the Estelline Hospital and babysat for many area families. She was also a pitcher on a fast-pitch softball team for 11 years.

On Aug. 8, 1942, Phyllis married Lee Tanke in Hendricks, Minn. She and her husband farmed most of their married life near Bruce and then White. Phyllis was baptized and confirmed in the Evangelical Lutheran Church on May 10, 1944, at Argo Lutheran Church of rural White. She served as a Sunday school teacher for many years and then also as the Sunday school superintendent.

After retiring from farming in 1979, they moved to Estelline where they had purchased her parents’ home. She attended Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church where she was a member of the Ladies Aid and also served as secretary.

Phyllis was also a member of the American Legion Auxiliary, D.E.A. and a member of various Extension clubs during her lifetime.

While in Estelline she worked at Burretta Brothers Sewing Factory for a short time before becoming employed at Estelline Public School where she was a substitute cook and later a teachers aide in high school. After her husband Lee’s death on March 16, 1999, Phyllis moved to Sunchase Apartments in Brookings where she resided at the time of her death.

She was a member of Our Savior Lutheran Church in Brookings. She also enjoyed helping her husband farm, doing crafts flower making, crocheting, embroidery, sewing, reading, bowling, gardening, puzzles, playing cards and visiting with her many friends. She was an active Minnesota Twins fan and watched them faithfully and she also loved playing bingo.

She is survived by her children, twins: Douglas (Donna) of San Tan Valley, Ariz., and Diane Vander Wal of Volga; daughter-in-law Joyce Tanke of Colman; 14 grandchildren; 32 great-grandchildren; a great-great-grandchild; four step-great- grandchildren and six step-great-great-grandchildren; numerous nieces and nephews; as well as a very special friend, Barry Conatser and his wife Deb and family of Arlington.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Lee; a daughter, Beverly Thue; son Paul Tanke; sons-in-law Dennis Thue and Steven Vander Wal; grandson Kip Hillestad; and great granddaughter Skylar Hunter; brothers, Virgil, Calvin Darwin and Cyril; and sisters, Marlys Boettcher Johnson and Mavis Ford.

Geise Funeral Home of Estelline is in charge of arrangements.










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