FRANKFORT, IL - Phyllis Jean VanDenburgh, age 81, formerly of Valparaiso, passed away Wednesday, September 5, 2018. She was born September 7, 1936 in Gary to Frank Shirley Manwaring and Helen Ruth Manwaring (Smithey). Phyllis graduated from Merrillville High School in 1954, and married her high school sweetheart, George William VanDenburgh, on October 16, 1954. They were married for over 54 years, up until George's sudden passing on December 24, 2008.
Phyllis is survived by two sons: Thomas (Dana) and Chris; four grandchildren: Lisa (Andrew) Szafarczyk, John (Olivia), Mark, and Charles; and two great-grandchildren, Alex and Anna Szafarczyk. Phyllis was preceded in death by husband, George William VanDenburgh, and daughter, Peggy VanDenburgh.
Phyllis was a housekeeper and mother until her youngest child, Peggy, started grade school. She went on to work for The Gary Clinic as a bookkeeper in 1966. She joined the Merrillville School Corporation as a bookkeeper in 1967. Phyllis worked there for 15 years, before accepting a position as Treasurer and Business Manager at Hobart Township School Corporation in 1980. She also worked in a similar position as Treasurer of the North Judson School Corporation up until her retirement in 1992.
After retirement, Phyllis and George spent their winters in Marco Island, Florida. They enjoyed many activities together, including traveling, spending time at the pool, and socializing with friends. They also greatly enjoyed cooking, gardening, and playing golf.
Phyllis loved sewing and knitting, making countless pieces of clothing for friends and family throughout the years. She also enjoyed arts and crafts, and had a flair for decorating her home, especially during holidays. When at home, Phyllis could usually be found cuddled up in her favorite chair with her beloved Labradoodle, 'Buddy.' She also loved meeting up and socializing with her close group of friends, also known as 'the Babes.'
Phyllis was a devoted and loving wife, caring mother, and extremely proud grandmother. She was known for her outgoing personality, big heart, and contagious smile. She loved to laugh, was a big proponent of hugs and kisses, and always remembered to tell you that she loved you. Phyllis cherished spending time with her family and adored her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
There will be no visitation or funeral service. A memorial luncheon celebrating her life will take place in the fall. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to VNA Hospice.