Phyllis Loreen Harris was born July 25, 1938, at Cedaredge CO, the only child of Jess Harris and Elta Mae (Hankla) Harris. She grew up on their farm helping her Daddy in the orchards. She attended school in Cedaredge and graduated from High School in 1956. She graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder in 1960. Then she taught English one year at the High School in Palmdale, California. She felt called to the ministry and began in her lifelong work the summer of 1961. She labored in Colorado, Austria, Communist held Czechoslovakia, Russia, Ukraine, and Czech Republic. While in Europe she offered free English classes as a way to reach out to people. She labored in Europe over 50 years. When her mother was ill with Pancreatic Cancer, Phyllis came home to be with her parents. Her mother passed away in 1975; and before Phyllis returned to Europe in 1976, her father married Dollie VanDenBerg. Phyllis spent time in later years in Colorado caring for her father until his death in 2004. During that time, Dollie was caring for her mother at her mother’s home in Delta and Phyllis was with her Daddy at Eckert. She enjoyed helping her Daddy with gardening and loved being with her Daddy. While she was caring for her Daddy she taught herself Russian. She returned to Europe and went to St. Petersburg in Russia, the summer of 2005. In 2007 it was arranged for her to labor in Ukraine; she was in Kiev from 2007 to 2010 at which time she returned to Colorado for her health. In 2013 she went to labor in the Czech Republic; and August 28, 2018, she returned to Colorado to finish her years in the ministry. In February 2020 Phyllis was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia and passed away April 24, 2020, at the age of 81 years at the HopeWest Hospice Care Center in Grand Junction. Interment at Cedaredge Cemetery. Quoting her, she said, “I have lived a rich life, and this is the fulfillment of God’s plan for me, how some must die.”
“She hath been a succourer of many”. She was loved by all who met her. Her smile and wit were endearing. She was a great support and her godly counsel meant a lot to all. She will be missed by her step mother, Dollie Harris, her co-workers, and all her friends.
A favorite poem of Phyllis:
Dear Lord, in some dim, future year,
In some dim future month and day
Awaits the hour, the solemn hour
When Thou shalt call my soul away;
That year, that month, that day of days
Come soon, or late, I know not when;
Oh, Thou who rulest all my ways
Thou, Lord of life, whom death obeys,
Be with me then, be with me then.
Somewhere upon this globe of ours
Is hid the spot where I must die.
And mid the snows, or mid the flowers,
My shrouded form shall coffined lie;
If east or west or south or north,
At home, abroad, I know not where.
Thou, tender Father, Lord of grace,
Whose presence fills the realm of space
Be with me there, be with me there.
By fire, by flood, by famine sore,
By sudden stroke, or slow decay,
When death’s dark angel is at my door,
How shall He call my soul away?
God only knows, He bends the bow
And He alone can fire the dart;
Yet care I not, when, where, or how
The end shall come, if only Thou
Wilt then but shield me in Thy heart.