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Phyllis Fern Van Buskirk

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“I am so sorry for the family. What a great loss. Everytime I was with Kelleys grandma at his house she was so quiet. I have seen some if her...Read More »
1 of 2 | Posted by: Karen Houtekier - Shelby Twp, MI

“Aunt Phyllis was always the Aunt from the "Big City". Although we didn't get to see her very often, she was the best, and boy could she cook. She...Read More »
2 of 2 | Posted by: Christine Gough - Bay City, MI

Phyllis Fern Van Buskirk, age 87 of Sterling Heights, died Friday, January 12, 2018 at the Heartland Health Care Center in Sterling Heights. She was born July 13, 1930 in Applegate, Michigan, daughter of the late Floyd and the late Dorothy (nee: Spears) Neaves.

Though Phyllis maintained a time in her life when she worked outside of the home as a saleswoman in the retail industry, the things that made her shine were the little projects at home that called upon her traditional nature. Like many women of her era, they didn't come from the "disposable society" in which we live today. Getting a new outfit often entailed manufacturing it yourself with a little needle & thread,…and if you were lucky, a sewing machine. But often it was fabricated by someone's loving and capable hands, like those that Phyllis possessed. Embodied by a host of the traditions passed down through the generations, sewing was just one of the strengths she possessed and used to provide for her family. And not merely for usefulness sake, Phyllis' talents as a seamstress were easily recognized and lauded for the artistic value that came from the work of her hands. Along much of the same path (same church, different pew) came her skills and talents in the art of crocheting. More in the vein of crafting, Phyllis loved to crochet and often made some beautiful pieces that she loved gifting to her family and friends over the years. And speaking of crafts, the artist within often called her name and led her to some incredible crafting shows. Phyllis loved being in touch with the craft show circuit as she was always looking for that next, best idea for the project around the corner.

Putting her hands to work also involved another Old World Tradition that is still seen and appreciated in the women from yesteryear,…the art of cooking. Like most "Golden Warrior" Mom's out there, Phyllis knew her way around the kitchen and could whip up some pretty tasty treats in her day. Just give her a stove, an oven, and a prep area,…then just step back and watch the magic unfold. She possessed some "mad skills" when it came to putting a meal together and poured her heart into each feast. Basically,…if you left her table hungry, you simply weren't trying.

And for as much as she was a culinary whiz, Phyllis was also quite adept in her garden as well. For someone who wasn't a horticulturist, you never would have known. Possessing a green thumb, the skills of a farmer, and the right amount of TLC, Phyllis loved getting down & dirty in her garden as she tilled the soil and nurtured its growth with the prowess of a professional.

But of all that she held precious, there's nothing that could hold a candle to the love and adoration she felt for her dear family,…especially her treasured grandchildren. They were truly the light of her life and a blessing to cherish. And oh,…lest we forget,…her "fur baby," Corki who was like her 5th child. A Beagle mix,…we all know the special love a dog owner can hold for their pet, and Phyllis emanated that in spades. She and Corki were the best of friends,…thick as thieves,…and a true example of what unconditional love looks like.

Phyllis was the beloved wife of the late Robert. Dearest mother of Michael (Debbie) VanBuskirk, John (Karla) VanBuskirk, Cynthia (Frank) Stone, and the late Thomas VanBuskirk. Loving grandmother of Kelley, Shawn, Michael Jr., and Megan. Also survived by 7 great grandchildren.

Visitation for Phyllis will be held Monday, January 15th from 3-9 pm, with a 7:00 pm Funeral Service, at the D.S. Temrowski & Sons Funeral Home, 30009 Hoover Road at Common (12 ½ Mile Rd.) in Warren.

Please share memories of Phyllis at her memory book above.

Upcoming Funeral Services

Steckley Cemetery

Applegate, MI