‘Phyllis Lindberg was not afraid of dying’

To the editor

Phyllis Lindberg was not afraid of dying. She went home to meet her Lord last Wednesday. Now, there was a lady for young women to look up to and emulate. I know because she had a profound impact on my life.

For one thing, she told me I couldn’t be old as I entered my 60s, because she was old, and she was pushing 90 at the time. She died at 93.

Phyllis was honored with the NB Lions’ Community Service Award some years ago. I can’t possibly recount all the wonderful things she did for the people in the NB community, It took me two stories on her, when I was editor of this paper, to share just some of her great deeds. And she was still active in the community up to a couple of months ago.

She was a dear lady, and I do mean lady. But the picture of her that stands out in my head is when she was participating in the senior citizen’s reading group that told, through theatrics, stories to the North Branch gradeschoolers. She maintained a stern look, remaining in character, with a bright orange, paper pumpkin on her head.

Phyllis dedicated herself to preserving patriotism in the local school children through VFW Auxiliary contests. Visit her home when she was judging hand-drawn flags or patriotic essays and you couldn’t find a place to sit because they were all around her living room. And she loved it.

Even if the community was going to have fun, she didn’t give up on patriotism. She never let me leave a word out of her press release for the kiddie parade at the NB Midsummer Festival. She coordinated that parade, with its patriotic theme, for some 60 years, and it had to be exactly what she wanted – red, white and blue.

A couple months ago I got a card from her with a hand-scrawled message attached. It was shaky, cursive handwriting which I was barely able to read. But off in one corner, printed, she wrote “You will never know how much I miss you.”

That touched my heart deeply.

Yes, Phyllis was quite a lady. She was not afraid of dying, but she was not afraid of living either. And she did that so well.

We said goodbye to her on Monday, and now it is I who will say, “You will never know how much I miss you.”

MaryHelen Swanson

Former editor

Rush City


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