Eleanor Rhue Phillips, 91, passed away November 29, 2020 at Diversicare in Council Grove.
She was born April 12, 1929, at her grandparents farm near Wilsey to Ralph and Viola (Camp) Hertlein. She graduated from Wilsey Rural High School in 1947. After graduation she attended KSTC (ESU) and received a teaching certificate. She taught at a one room schoolhouse south of her parents farm. On April 13, 1951, she married Frank (Popeye) Phillips, Jr. at the home of Rev.T.P. Henry. They were married for 46 years until his death, October 30, 1997. On February 14, 2003, she married Kenneth Muller at Wilsey United Methodist Church. He survives.
Eleanor and Popeye spent a year and a half in Germany where he was stationed in the Army. She always talked fondly of those days and the lifelong friends they met. After returning to the states they made their home in Wilsey. Eleanor was extremely active and involved with her family and community. She was a member of the Wilsey United Methodist Church where she taught, mentored and played the piano and organ for many years. She was also a member of UMW, Wilsey Lions Club, the Chase County Art Guild, a 4-H sewing leader and a member of Eastern Star for over 60 years. Along with these organizations she played the piano and organ for many weddings, funerals and events and every Friday at Diversicare for over 30 years, while her girls were growing up, Eleanor used her talents by decorating numerous wedding cakes and setting and styling hair of neighbors and family over the years. In her early 60’s she found a passion for drawing and painting and continued that passion until a couple of years ago. She prided herself in being a wife, mother, and grandmother, and was a friend to many.
She is survived by her husband Kenneth Muller; daughters, Cindy Krisman (Dale) of Emporia; JaNell Brown (Jack) of Dwight; step children, Suzanne (Joe) Hokett of Salina, Richard (Tammy) Muller of Council Grove; grandchildren, Sara Weaver (Jesse) of Osage City; Jordan Krisman of Wichita; Cristy Hutchinson of Council Grove; Eric (Ashley) Brown of Emporia; great grandchildren, Rowen and Wrenna Weaver; Mikayla, Tyler, Wyatt and Westyn Hutchinson; and Porter Brown; and special cousins Ruby and John Hertlein.
She is preceded in death by her first husband, Popeye; daughter, Kimberly Dawn; grandsons, Matt Gillaspie and Scott Brown; her parents and brother Ralph, Jr.
Graveside services will be at the Wilsey Cemetery, Thursday, December 3, 2020, at 11:00. Eleanor will lie in state on Wednesday, December 2, 2020, from 11:00 to 1:00 at Sawyer Funeral Home. Memorial contributions can be made to the Wilsey United Methodist Church in care of Sawyer Funeral Home, Box 273, Council Grove, KS 66846.
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