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Phyllis Jean Lessens

01/19/1927
06/19/2018

Phyllis Jean (Elsbey) Lessens, aged 91, formerly of Lowell, passed away peacefully at American House in Kentwood on Tuesday, June 19, 2018.  Phyllis was born January 19, 1927 to Orrin and Frances (Wilson) Elsbey in Rockford, Michigan.  She is preceded in death by her husband of 50 years, Daniel Ivo Lessens, in 1999.  Surviving are her loving children Steven Richard (Sherry) Lessens of Ann Arbor, MI, Mary Christine (Chris) Dahl of Crookston, MN, George Daniel (Sherry Lee) Lessens of East Grand Rapids, MI, Michael Francis Lessens and fiancée Denise Fosburg of Lowell, MI, and Mark Timothy (Carolyn) Lessens. She was adored by her thirteen devoted grandchildren:  Jennifer Clare (David) Thompson of Okemos, MI, David Maurice (Kelly) Lessens of Anchorage, AK, April René (Gary) Koppen of Horicon, WI, Shannon Michele Allen of Lowell, MI, Jacob Ernest (Katy) Dahl of DeFuniak Springs, FL, Christopher Joshua Dahl of West Allis, WI, Kathryn Marie Dahl of Horicon, WI, Eric Timothy Lessens and fiancée Kristy Marie Hughes of Chicago, IL, Ariel Marie Lessens of Happy Valley, OR, Sarah Nicole (Justin) Saunders, Melissa Kathleen Lessens, Amanda Christine Lessens, and Tyler James Lessens; nephews Robert, Richard, and David Westcott, all of Lansing; and seventeen great-grandchildren. Phyllis grew up on the family farm in Rockford, MI and graduated from Rockford High School in 1944.  She graduated in 1948 with a B.S. in Medical Technology from Michigan State University, where she met Daniel.  They were married on June 11, 1949 and lived in Mount Morris and Lansing, MI before settling in Lowell, MI in 1964 to raise their family. She was a Den Mother to many boys in Cub Scout Pack 3102, a volunteer for Boy Scout Troop 102 where George, Michael and Mark Lessens achieved the rank of Eagle Scout, and Girl Scouts where Mary was an Explorer and Cadette Scout Leader.  She was a cheerleader for and taskmaster to her children whether they delivered newspapers, competed on swim team and school and summer sports, or played musical instruments and / or sang in the choir.  She was proudest of their academic achievements.  Later in life she attended many of her grandchildren’s concerts and sporting events. Phyllis was a smart, out-spoken and determined woman throughout her life, living and practicing her Catholic faith through St. Mary’s Parish with its Altar Society and Pregnancy Center, along with the Franciscan Life Process Center in Lowell.  She was an avid gardener, baker, knitter and quilter, among other talents. The family thanks the staff at Spectrum Health Butterworth and Spectrum Health Hospice for making Phyllis comfortable as she made her journey home and the staff at American House – Kentwood, especially her granddaughter Melissa and grandson Tyler for their special attention, along with Tatiana, Eliza and Jesus for treating her like family and understanding her dry sense of humor. Visitation will be held Thursday, June 21, 2-4:00 p.m. and 7-9:00 p.m. at Roth-Gerst Chapel, 305 N. Hudson, Lowell, MI 49331; with a rosary prayed at 7:00 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial will be 11:00 a.m. Friday, June 22, at St. Mary Catholic Church, 402 Amity St., Lowell, MI 49331. The family will greet friends and relatives one hour prior to the mass at the church. Rev. Aaron Ferris presiding.  Burial at St. Mary’s Cemetery will immediately follow.  Please join the family for lunch afterwards.  The family wishes that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Franciscan Life Process Center, 11650 Downes St., Lowell, MI 49331.

Make a Contribution

The family wishes that in lieu of flowers,

donations be made to:

Franciscan Life Process Center

11650 Downes St.

Lowell, MI 49331

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7 Responses

  1. Mine & my family’s thoughts and prayers go with My now going to Forever be Xtremely missed Grandmother! Praying that Grandpa can forgive the love of his life for taking so long to arrive! We will ALL continue our love for her and remember her dearly!

  2. My condolences on the death of your mom ,
    good memories stay for ever .

  3. I send my sincere condolences to you and your family on the loss of your mother. She sounds like she was an active, vibrant woman who made amazing contributions no matter where she lived. I wish you all peace and acceptance of this deep loss.

  4. God had Phyllis do a lot of love work. Joy to her for being able to go to Him. May your grief be short and many happy memories comfort you. Love & Prayers to you all.

  5. Phyllis had a great life and made everyone joyful for knowing her. My condolences to the family.

  6. My deepest sympathy to her entire family. She was truly an icon in the Lowell community. I remember going to church one Sunday and she saw a tiny tear on the side of my dress. She quickly pulled me over to her house and made me wait in the bathroom while she stitched up my dress. All in time for mass. She also sat behind my husband and I and kept my 5 little children in line during mass. She would bop them over the head with her hymnal if they got antsy. We will all miss her.

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Make a Contribution

The family wishes that in lieu of flowers,

donations be made to:

Franciscan Life Process Center

11650 Downes St.

Lowell, MI 49331