Phyllis Louise Bodtke was born August 24, 1933 to Donald and Wilma (Cleveland) Bowers in Benton Harbor, Michigan. She went to be with the Lord on April 7, 2021 at the age of 87 while recovering from hip surgery. Phyllis graduated from Benton Harbor High School and received her teaching certificate from Western Michigan College. She married Ron Bodtke on July 25, 1953 at Chapel Hill United Brethren Church in Sodus, Michigan.
Phyllis taught K-8 in a one-room schoolhouse in Pipestone Township, Michigan. She joined Ron while he was stationed in Panama during the Korean War. When Phyllis and Ron started their family, Phyllis quit teaching to stay home with their children. In 1969, she and Ron moved their family to Grand Junction to become blueberry farmers. Phyllis was the brake to Ron’s accelerator, and together they turned dreams into reality. Phyllis was Ron’s partner and business manager in every way.
Phyllis loved her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and glorified him by following his example of service and love in her relationships with Ron, family, and friends. She was a woman of prayer, a devoted friend, deeply generous, and an encouraging presence in the lives of her loved ones.
Phyllis is preceded in death by her husband, Ron. She is survived by her children, Tom (Arlene) Bodtke and their children Jessica (Peter), Michael (Kathryn), Jeffrey (Jodi), Robert (Lindsay); Pam (Joe) Stafford and their children Daniel (Kim), Sarah (Kyle), Stephen, Nathan (Nicole), Luke (Emily), Elizabeth (Brendan), Naomi, Andrew; Larry (Liana) Bodtke and their children Claire, Lindsey (Jared), Emily (Mike), Bryce; and Kay (Lupe) Trevino and their children Lydia and Kayla (Jonathan). Phyllis has 20 great grandchildren and counting. Also surviving are sibling Charley Bowers, Uncle Lynn Bowers, Ron’s siblings Bonnie Cuthbert, Donald (Chris) Bodtke, Connie (Jon) Renbarger, and Susan Stafford, and many cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends.
Visitation will take place Friday, April 16, 2021 from 5:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. and Saturday, April 17th from 1:00 P.M. to 2:00 P.M. Funeral services will follow on Saturday, April 17th at 2:00 P.M. officiated by Todd Van Grouw, pastor of Phyllis at the First Congregational Church in Grand Junction. All services will take place at Hope Reformed Church in South Haven. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in memory of Phyllis may be made to Bloomingdale Christian Fellowship, 43395 6th Avenue, Bloomingdale, Michigan, 49026, or the charity of your choice.
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