Mrs. Phyllis Jean Sanders, 81, of Elkhart, transitioned into Glory following an extended illness on Wednesday, May 13, 2020 at 4:10 am at the Golden Living Center in Elkhart. She was born 82 years ago this Sunday in 1938 in Elkhart to the late Frank E. and Daisy May (Comer) Whitmyer, Sr., and is preceded in death by her husbands Elmer Sanders and Alexander Ford.
Surviving to cherish her precious memory are her loving daughters Darlene (Robert Nelson) Sanders, Sandra (Jimmie Norman) Sanders and Martha Horne; her brother Wayne E. Whitmyer; grandchildren Quiana, LaShanta, Sharita, Shabrina, Michelle, Darnisha, Darshika, Kiara, Dezhawna, Shadimia and Kainen Sanders, Larry Sanders, Jr., Alvin Sanders, Sr., Alexander, Chantell and Steven Williams. Jr., Isaac Horne and Darnell Bonds; 37 great grandchildren; 5 great-great grandchildren, and a host of loving nieces, nephews, cousins, extended family and friends including her niece, Pamela Westlake Turley. She is additionally preceded in death by great-grandchildren twins Giovanni and Tiovanni Rodriguez and D’Angelo Daniels; sons Steve “Stevie D” and Larry Sanders and siblings Mary Jane Rolf, Marjorie J. Swoape and Frank E. Whitmyer, Jr.
Phyllis’ life will be celebrated at the Greater Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church, 1827 Oakland Ave., Elkhart, on Friday, May 22, 2020 at 12:00 noon, with visitation beginning at 11 am. The Rev. Nichols Cossy will officiate and burial will follow at Rice Cemetery in Elkhart. Billings Funeral Home and Cremation Services of Elkhart are assisting the family with arrangements, and asks everyone to please remember facial coverings, social limits and distancing as mandated by the church for everyone’s health and well-being.
Phyllis loved helping others, and that was never better spoken than by the fact that she worked nearly 60 years in the medical profession as a CNA at several area nursing facilities. Phyllis loved her residents, especially the elderly, and looked forward to going in every day to see her “friends”. She was also a prolific cook and absolutely loved to throw down for her beloved family and friends, whipping up her all-time favorites like Chicken and Dressing, Mackerel Patties and Pancakes. In fact, any time folks got together to party, shake their booties and groove to old school classic soul like Al Green and Marvin Gaye, Phyllis would be found right square in the middle of all of it! On the flip side, she enjoyed relaxing to one of her many volumes of “word-search” books. She loved her grandchildren dearly, and despite everything, her family was her anchor; and the love, admiration and respect shown to her were the well-earned results of decades of being the perfect mom, grandma and spouse.
The family would like to gratefully acknowledge the special care and consideration given to Phyllis by the staff at Golden Living Center and for the countless friends who supported Phyllis and the family with kind words and deeds as well as constant support during her illness.
Family and friends are encouraged to browse the funeral home’s website, where one can share the obituary, leave condolences for the family, order flowers, get directions and more. A repast will be held at the 1908 W. Franklin St. address immediately following the service.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Phyllis J. Sanders, please visit our floral store.