August 27, 1937 - June 26, 2019
Janesville, WI -- Phyllis M. Rice, age 81, of Janesville, died on Wednesday, June 26, 2019 at SSM Health St. Mary's Hospital in Janesville. She was born in Janesville on August 27, 1937, the daughter of the late Dale F. and Katherine C. (Denning) Walter. Phyllis graduated from Janesville High School in 1956. On April 26, 1958 at St. Patrick Catholic Church, she married Robert W. Rice. Phyllis has been a very active and faithful member of Nativity of Mary Catholic Church for many years, with her strong faith guiding her in life. For over 36 years, Phyllis worked at Parker Pen, retiring in 1998, and then part-time at the former Boston Store. Phyllis was a very active woman, who enjoyed golfing, bowling, walking and biking. She volunteered with the church picnics, funeral luncheons and working at the polling booths. She was also especially fond of bird watching, with cardinals being her favorite bird, and cheering on the Green Bay Packers. She always looked forward to making the journey to Platteville to watch musical and sporting events of her grandchildren. Phyllis was proud to be a wife, mother and grandmother, who enjoyed spending time with her family. After being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease fourteen years ago, Phyllis became the "ultimate warrior", facing it head on, with determination, courage and perseverance. She never let it slow her down!
She is survived by her husband of over 61 years, Robert; two daughters, Cheryl (Gerard) Philipps of Platteville, WI and Paula (Jason) Haenel of Madison; grandchildren who she adored: Stephanie Philipps, William Philipps and Emily Philipps; her sisters, Susanne Ulbrich of Mesa, AZ and Mary (Tony) Scodwell of Las Vegas, NV. She is further survived by her sister-in-law, Nancy (Dick) Henning of Janesville; several nieces; nephews; other relatives; and many, many friends. In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by two brothers, Jerry and Jim Walter.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. on Monday, July 1, 2019 at Nativity of Mary Catholic Church with Fr. Rob Butz officiating. Interment will follow at Mt. Olivet Cemetery. Visitation will be on Monday from 9:30 a.m. until the time of the service at the church. In lieu of flowers, memorials would be greatly appreciated if they were made to Nativity of Mary Catholic Church.
A very warm and heartfelt thank you to the staff at St. Elizabeth Nursing Home, Rock Haven and Oak Park Place for the wonderful care given to Phyllis over the past few years. Also, thank you to the doctors, nurses and staff at SSM Health Dean Clinic and Hospital for the support, compassion and encouragement the last fourteen years. All of you are true angels!