Anderson, Phyllis Harriet (Keeler) 89, beloved daughter, sister, wife, mother, grand-mother and great-grandmother, passed peacefully to Heaven with her family by her side on November 21st at her home in Little Moose Lake, MN. She was born on December 17, 1932 to Hiram and Laura Keeler in Cohasset MN, raised on a farm on the Mississippi River, and graduated high school from Grand Rapids MN. Following graduation, she met and married the love of her life, Stuart Anderson, and they were married for 69 wonderful years. After his service in the Navy, they lived in Washington DC, and Knoxville TN before moving to Hibbing MN in 1957 to be closer to their families.
Phyllis and Stu adopted and raised two children, Steve and Sandy, in Hibbing while spending weekends at their cabin on Little Moose Lake. She loved and cared for her family deeply and selflessly. Phyllis was a devoted Christian and very active in the First Presbyterian Church of Hibbing, teaching Sunday school, vacation bible school, volunteering and later working for the church. She was a Cub Scout leader, a Girl Scout leader, and taught firearm safety with Stu for 55 years. She was literally the Mom of the neighborhood, caring for all the kids and always providing an open door and a pan of her famous scotch-a-roo bars. Later in life, she became an adored grandma.
However, Phylllis was much more than a great Mom and homemaker. She was a world-class shooter, with 14 MN state titles in women’s smallbore and high-power. She tried out for the US Olympic team in 1964 and was a member of the Hibbing Trap Club, the Hibbing Sportsman club, the Grand Rapids Sportsman club, and the Deer River Sportsman club. She was also the secretary of the Iron Range Rifle League for over 30 years and one of the best shooters in the league. She enjoyed deer hunting, grouse hunting, and duck hunting and was always the best hunter in the family. She was an accomplished mechanic, loved baking, painted and exhibited water-colors, snow-shoed, cross country skied, summer- and winter-camped in the BWCA, and extensively rode motorcycles (enduro and street – she and Stu went across the country twice on their street bikes in their early sixties). She and Stu were a true team and did virtually everything together until his passing in 2021. But Phyllis was a Northern MN legend in her own right.
Phyllis was the heartbeat of her family and a true icon in her community. She taught us all how to love, but now she was ready to meet her Lord and be with Stuart. She will be deeply missed.
Preceded in death by husband Stuart and parents, Hiram and Laura.
Survived by children Steve (Michelle) Anderson and daughter Sandy (Bill) Wheelecor; grandchildren Matt (Kendra) Wheelecor, Mitchel Wheelecor, Madason (Wyatt) Thompson, Noah Anderson, Eva Anderson; great grandchildren Karson (Wheelecor) Koski, Mason Wheelecor, Elsie Wheelecor, Ava Thompson, Amelia Thompson, Oden Thompson; sister Marian Becker and brother Harold (Phyllis) Keeler.
Special prayers and thanks to Sandy and Bill Wheelecor for the caretaking and love they provided Phyllis and Stu in recent years which allowed them to stay in their own home until they passed.
A visitation and funeral will be held on Friday, November 25th at Noon and 1 pm, respectively, at the United Methodist Church, 27 1st Ave NE, Deer River, MN 56636.