Obituary for Phyllis “Phyl” Coonley

Phyllis (Phyl) Coonley died on July 2, 2017, in Northfield, Minnesota. She was born in 1925 in Lincoln, Nebraska, to Marvin and Gladys Teagarden. She was preceded in death by her parents and her husband, Robert (Bob) Coonley, who died in 2014. She is survived by her three children and their spouses: Douglas (Suzanne) of North Carolina; Steffanie Coonley (Jeffery Pederson) of Colorado and Maine; Meredith Coonley (Arthur Bridge) of New Mexico; seven grandchildren; and almost 11 grandchildren (No. 11 is due very soon). Phyl was raised in Lincoln and had her four grandparents, several great-grandparents and her favorite uncle, […]

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Phyllis (Phyl) Coonley died on July 2, 2017, in Northfield, Minnesota. She was born in 1925 in Lincoln, Nebraska, to Marvin and Gladys Teagarden. She was preceded in death by her parents and her husband, Robert (Bob) Coonley, who died in 2014.

She is survived by her three children and their spouses: Douglas (Suzanne) of North Carolina; Steffanie Coonley (Jeffery Pederson) of Colorado and Maine; Meredith Coonley (Arthur Bridge) of New Mexico; seven grandchildren; and almost 11 grandchildren (No. 11 is due very soon).

Phyl was raised in Lincoln and had her four grandparents, several great-grandparents and her favorite uncle, Jack, nearby. Her grandmother Alice ran a tearoom, and Phyl loved Alice’s pumpkin pie and cinnamon rolls.

During the summers in the mid-1940s Phyl worked at the YMCA camp in Estes Park, Colorado, and spent most of her pay on turquoise and silver jewelry. She was active in student government in high school, attended Girls State, and was a member of the first class of the new Northeast High School in Lincoln.

Phyl graduated from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln; was president of her sorority, Chi Omega; Mortar Board; and editor of “The Daily Nebraskan,” the collegiate newspaper. It was at “The Daily Nebraskan” that Phyl met Bob (he was a reporter, she was his boss). They married in 1948.

Phyl and Bob first lived in Omaha, Nebraska, where all of their “kidlets” were born. After several years they moved to Minnesota and lived in Hopkins until the early 1980s. Phyl likes to tell the story of the first weekend in the new house: no furniture and all three kids sick with chicken pox.

Phyl loved being a mom and served as room mother in her kids’ schools, den mother for the Boy Scouts, and assistant troop leader for the Girl Scouts (boxes of cookies would fill the garage during cookie sale time). She threw wonderful winter birthday parties for her daughters, which often included a coconut snowman cake and skating parties on the rink Bob and Doug would create in the back yard. She enjoyed playing cards, including bridge, and taught her kids how to play hearts and solitaire. Phyl was active in the Hopkins Methodist Church and taught kindergarten Sunday school for many years.

Phyl and Bob called Hopkins home until the early 1980s, when they retired to Pelican Lake near Brainerd, Minnesota, in the summers and Cathedral City, California, in the winters. Phyl loved being near the water and she and Bob took several trips to Hawaii and a cruise to Alaska. Phyl and Bob relocated to Northfield about 12 years ago and eventually moved to the Northfield Retirement Community.

Phyl’s children would like to thank the staff of the Northfield Care Center, special Northfield friends Joan and Mark Ekeren, and Ruth Kruse and the pastoral care team from the Northfield United Methodist Church for the care, love and devotion they showed both of their parents during the final years.

No services are planned. Memorials may be directed to your favorite charity.  Arrangements by Bierman Funeral Home.  biermanfuneralhome.com

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1 Comment

  1. Molly Peterson

    I got to know Phyl during the Methodist luncheons at the Northfield Retirement Communities. She seemed like a very gracious and friendly lady.
    She will be missed.

    Reply

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