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Phyllis May SterlingNovember 20, 1921 ~ May 17, 2017 (age 95)
Phyllis May Sterling, 95, of Great Falls, passed away on Wednesday, May 17, 2017 due to natural causes at Peace Hospice. A graveside service will be held Saturday, June 17, 2017 at 10:30 AM at Highland Cemetery in Great Falls, MT.
Phyllis was born on November 20, 1921, in Renova, MT to Cleveland Dillman and Ethel McCall. Phyllis went to Great Falls High School with the class of 1940. She was married briefly to Dale Maffit. She started working as a secretary at East Base in 1943. In 1945, Phyllis married William Sterling in Great Falls, with whom she created a wonderful life, enjoying 49 years of marriage and family, until his passing in 1994. After raising her family, she became an administrative assistant at the College of Great Falls McLaughlin Center.
Phyllis was a member of the Rainbow Garden Club and the Pan American Study Club. She loved working in her yard and had an amazing green thumb. She also enjoyed playing bingo at the Elks Club.
If you were lucky enough to be her husband, you would have had her by your side during your yearly travels to Glacier Park, family picnics in Monarch and fishing trips to Bean Lake. She was often found in the kitchen baking your favorite rhubarb pie, made extra tart especially for you.
If you were lucky enough to be one of her children, you would have experienced her amazing nurturing nature. This carried on through her last years in the nursing home, as she would often be seen cradling and talking sweetly to her baby dolls. If you were ever in need, she was right there by your side.
If you were lucky enough to be one of her grandchildren who got to grow up near her, you would be spoiled with ice cream every day after school, treats in bed at sleepovers, fighting a thief for your stolen bike and proudly returning it to you, and buying you a Barbie car at a garage sale and driving next to you as you drove it home down the sidewalk, getting pulled over by the police for driving too slow down a busy street. You would experience frequent trips to the grocery store, where she would allow you to load the cart with all the sugary treats your heart desired. If you lived far away, you were always on her mind and in her heart.
Animals felt drawn to her, and it’s no wonder, just like family members, if you were lucky enough to be one of the animals in her life, you would have felt nurtured and loved and spoiled beyond belief.
Although her memory and health had declined over her last years, her Dillman sense of humor prevailed, and she always kept us laughing!
Survivors include her daughters, Arden (Gary) Gregg of Coeur D’Alene ID; Barbara (Reid) Lund of Dillon, MT; Betty (Paul) Robinson of Great Falls, MT; son, William (Dena) Sterling IV of Great Falls, MT; 16 grandchildren and 29 great-grandchildren.
Those who have preceded Phyllis in death include her husband, William Sterling; brothers Cleve and Don Dillman, sisters Melba Bowers, Lois Holbrook and Marjorie Knowles; and her great-grandson, Elijah Broadnax.
Memorial donations are suggested to Peace Hospice of Montana.