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Phyllis J. Mace

9/19/1927 - 2/7/2019

PEKIN ~ Phyllis Jean (Boswell) Mace entered peacefully into eternal life at Unity Point Health-Pekin at 9:33 a.m. on Thursday, February 7th, 2019 to reunite with her beloved husband LeRoy.

She is survived by her sons Robert (Linda) and Steve and daughters Chris and Sheri (Jeff) Damon; five grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; four great-great grandchildren and three step grandchildren.

Phyllis was born on September 19, 1927 to James and Rose (Trendle) Boswell in the rugged backwoods of rural Missouri. With 5 older brothers and 1 younger, Phyllis learned to fend for herself at an early age. Walking miles to and from grade school with her little brother Bill, Phyllis was both challenged by the elements and frightened by occasional run-ins with wolves and other wildlife. These experiences instilled self-confidence and fearlessness at a young age. She spent hours playing in the woods around her house, learning much about the flora and fauna of the region and the ways of nature, of which she often opined. Her rugged individualism and ability to thrive in diversity served her well into her later years. Phyllis’s growing years were not easy. She often spoke of her mother Rose working dawn to dusk to feed and clothe the family, the difficulties of living off the land and of losing her brother Russell to World War II. Throughout this time, Phyllis maintained a childhood crush on an older boy named “LeRoy”, whom her mother declared “too old” and would leave her “widowed and heartbroken”. This was not to be the case! After the war at age 19, Phyllis turned her longtime admiration of LeRoy into a lifetime commitment of love, as they entered into marriage and built their home in Pekin Illinois.

She started working outside the home when her youngest child was in grade school. Her career included Allen’s Vogue, Washington Junior High School and primarily Singer Sewing Company, in both sales and accounting.

Phyllis and LeRoy raised their four children and lived the remainder of their days in Pekin. During these years, Phyllis enjoyed traveling with her family throughout the country, camping, fishing and exploring nature’s beauty. She and Roy were avid square dancers, spending many years in Peoria and throughout the state dancing with various clubs including the Peoria Red Hots and WABCO Squares, and at after-parties with friends. Phyllis was an expert seamstress, gardener, and cook. She loved to paint, do needlework and was a renowned pie maker! She loved teaching her children about the forest and nature while gathering mushrooms or exploring the woods during camping trips. Her home was a welcoming place for all that entered, and she was known as a second mother to many and loved by all who knew her.

Phyllis was a light of love in the world that shines on in her passing. The memory of her selflessness, compassion and empathy remain as her gift to us all.

Her funeral will be at 2 p.m. Monday, February 11, 2019 at Preston-Hanley Funeral Homes & Crematory in Pekin.  Pastor John Vaughn will officiate.  Visitation will be one hour prior to the service.  Burial will be at Glendale Memorial Gardens in Pekin.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Central Illinois Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired

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