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(May 9, 1921 - February 28, 2013)

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PHYLLIS M. ELLIOTT, 91, of Cherokee, Iowa, passed away Thursday morning, February 28, 2013 at Countryside Estates in Cherokee after a long illness.

Funeral services will be held on Saturday, March 2nd, at 10:30 a.m. at the Boothby Funeral Home in Cherokee. Rev. Magrey deVega will officiate. Burial will be in the Afton Township Cemetery at rural Cherokee, Iowa. There will be a family prayer service at 10:15 a.m. at the funeral home on Saturday. Visitation will be on Friday from 1 p.m. until 8 p.m. with the family present from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. at the Boothby Funeral Home in Cherokee.. Online condolences can be left at

Phyllis Mae Elliott, the daughter of Parley L. and Alvina (Strampe) Derby, was born May 9, 1921 in Paullina, Iowa. Her childhood years were spent in Paullina, Fulda, MN. and Sioux City, where she graduated from East High school in 1938. After graduation, Phyllis moved to Cherokee in 1939 where she worked as a secretary and bookkeeper for Ray B. France in his Hatchery and feed business until 1949. She later became a legal secretary for Herrick, Ary and Cook Law Firm in Cherokee (1949-1951), and spent several years (1960-1965) employed by the federal government at The Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service (ASCS). In her later years, she worked part-time during tax season for Maher, Meloy and Hankens Law Office in Cherokee.

On February 14, 1947, she was united in marriage to Byrl W. Elliott of Cherokee, in Ponca, Nebraska. Together, they had three children: Dana, Steven and Julie. They lived in Cherokee until 1960 when they purchased a farm northeast of Cherokee. Phyllis enjoyed gardening, canning the fruits of the garden, flowers, doing farm and yard work and crocheting. She and Byrl moved to Cherokee in December of 1997, after 37 years on the farm. A member of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, she was a member of the United Methodist Women and Joy Circle. She was a former member of The Pilot Rock Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and The Happy Hookers Crochet Club that met at the Family Table in Cherokee.

Phyllis is survived by her son Steven (Lois) Elliott of Cherokee, Iowa; daughter Julie Kesterson of Denison, Iowa; four grandchildren: Ami (Carl) Ladwig of Denison; Cari (Brett) Allen of Omaha, Nebraska; Christopher (Jessica) Elliott of Omaha, Nebraska and Lauri Elliott and fiancé Cody Stuber of Wichita, Kansas; three great grandchildren also survive: Amanda Kesterson of Denison; Brennan Allen of Omaha and Emily Ladwig of Denison.

Also surviving are sisters: Elaine Meyer of Sioux City, Iowa; Marjorie Milbrodt of Sioux City, Iowa; Ila Edwards of Sioux Falls, South Dakota; sister-in-law Anna Derby Wagner of Phoenix, Arizona; also several cousins and many nieces and nephews.

Phyllis was preceded in death by her parents, husband Byrl on December 10, 1997, an infant son Dana on May 4, 1948, a sister Dardanella Franzen and a brother William Derby.


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