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Mary Phyllis Yates, 94 of Coloma, passed away on Aug. 23, 2022 surrounded by loved ones. Mary Phyllis was born on Jan. 2, 1928 to Rudolph and Angeline Grill (Krejchik) of Midlothian, Illinois.

Mary Phyllis is survived by her children: Jim (Marilyn), Cypress, TX, Paula (Marc) Cook, Holland, MI, Mark (Debbie), Pickerington, OH, Donna (Charles) Anderson, Gainesville, GA, Ken (Caroline), Ft. Wayne, IN, Leslie Balgoyen, Anderson, IN, Beth (Peter) Mannino, Watervliet and Lauren (Mark) Longo, Bolingbrook, IL; 19 grandchildren and their 13 spouses; 34 great-grandchildren; brother Keith Grill in St. John, IN; brother-in-law Marty Yates, Galveston TX and many nieces and nephews.

Our mother was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Ollie J. Yates, sister Pauline Fisher, brother Ken Grill, daughter Mary, grandson Daniel Yates, granddaughter Brandi Mannino, sisters-in-law Sharon Grill, Dorothy Grill, Jane Yates, Fran Dosenbach and brothers-in-law Clyde Fisher and Bob Dosenbach.

Mary Phyllis was a graduate of Loretto Academy and attended St. Francis College in Joliet, IL as an art major. Mom put her art studies on hold when, on May 7, 1949, she married Ollie, the love of her life, at St. Christopher’s church in Midlothian, IL. Our father passed away in May 2002 shortly after celebrating our parents’ 53 years of marriage.

Mom and Dad resided in Midlothian for the first 17 years of their marriage until our father came home from a trip to Michigan and proclaimed that he had just bought an 80-acre farm and that we were moving to rural Allegan County soon. If mom complained we never heard her. Dad stayed in Midlothian during the week to focus on his banking career. Mom, with seven children in tow (mom’s youngest daughter was born in Michigan), moved to the Michigan farm which was 13 miles from the town of Allegan. Looking back on that period, we continue to marvel at the strength, courage, resilience and pioneer spirit that our mother displayed.

Our parents moved from the farm after a number of years and settled in Southwest Michigan with homes in Coloma, Watervliet and Bridgman. They also became “snowbirds” and enjoyed their winters in Diamondhead, MS.

As her children moved away, Mary Phyllis returned to her love of art and when we visited it was not unusual to find Mom in front of an easel working on another painting. In addition to her creative endeavors, our mother was a devoted Catholic who, until she was limited by her health, could be found attending mass a few times a week and volunteering at St. Joseph parish in Watervliet. Mom also served as a volunteer at Watervliet Hospital.

As we say goodbye to our mother we would like to thank the staff at Woodland Terrace Coloma and the Palliative Care/Hospice team for the care that they provided mom. We would also like to thank Fathers John Peter Ambrose and Patrick Craig for the spiritual support they have provided mom over the years as she prepared to be greeted by our savior Jesus Christ.

“Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise” Luke 23:43

Arrangements have been entrusted to Hutchins Funeral Home, Watervliet. A funeral mass was held at St. Joseph Catholic Church, Watervliet on Monday Aug. 29. In lieu of customary remembrances, memorial contributions may be made to St. Joseph Catholic Church, or the hospice provider for our mother, Caring Circle of Spectrum Health Lakeland, St. Joseph.


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