Phyllis was born on November 19, 1932, to Robert and Judith (Holte) Olson in Moorhead, MN. She attended Oak Mound School thru the 8th grade and graduated from Moorhead Senior High School. After high school she attended Dakota Business College, then met Harry Fillafer at a dance, which sparked their lifelong love. They were united in marriage on June 19, 1953. They lived in Fargo for two years before building their home in rural Moorhead, near the family farm where they still live today. There, she raised two children, Richard and Sherry. When the kids entered junior high school, Phyllis worked at Concordia College and was influenced by her aunt to become a school bus driver and drove for the Moorhead School District for 21 years before working as an administrative assistant for the District for another 6 years. She retired in 1998.
Phyllis was a lifelong member of Oak Mound Congregational United Church of Christ. She was very active in the church community where she volunteered as a Sunday School teacher and participated in Ladies Aid. Social activities with dear friends through the years included homemakers, over 25 years of square dancing, camping, 4-H, bowling, and volunteering countless hours at the Sons of Norway. She enjoyed creative works of ceramics, cross-stitching and sewing.
Phyllis was a woman of practicality with a great sense of humor. She loved to socialize and enjoyed being behind the scenes to help coordinate and organize any family or community event. She enjoyed working and loved keeping busy with her children’s and grandchildren’s activities. Being fond of adventure, Phyllis and Harry traveled across the United States, internationally, and explored numerous destinations by cruise or group bus tours.
Phyllis is survived by her husband of 67 years, Harry; children, Richard (Carol) Fillafer and Sherry Fillafer; grandchildren, Jonathan Fillafer and Sarah Fillafer; brother, Robert “Sonny” Olson; sister, Orpha Poehls; and many other loving relatives and friends. She is preceded in death by her parents, Robert and Judith; infant daughter; and sister, Linda Sauter.
Visitation will be held on Friday, October 23, 2020, from 4:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M. at Wright Funeral Home, Moorhead, MN. Visitation will continue on Saturday, October 24, 2020, from noon – 1:00 P.M., followed by the funeral service at 1:00 P.M. at Wright Funeral Home, Moorhead, MN. A livestream of the service will be available on her webpage at www.wrightfuneral.com where a guestbook and video tribute may also be found. Burial will be at Oak Mound Cemetery, Rural Moorhead, MN, following the service.
Memorial preferred to Oak Mound Cemetery.