Phyllis Jean Hoffman, age 98, left her earthly confines to join her Heavenly family on October 12, 2021. She was born on August 30, 1923 in Shelby, Michigan, to Joseph and Clara (Miller) Bruening. She married Douglas C. Hoffman of Montague on August 25, 1956, at St. James Catholic Church in Montague. She lived her entire life in Benona and Montague Townships.
Phyllis was a graduate of Bradyville one room school, Shelby High School, Oceana County Normal and Western Michigan University where she received her teaching degree.
Phyllis started her long teaching career in 1943, at the age of 19 in one room schools, including Peachville, Cranston, Shelby Center, Pine Grove, and Green, as well as Benona Consolidated. She started teaching in Montague Area Schools in 1959, until her retirement in 1978. She enjoyed traveling and playing pinochle at the White Lake Senior Center, a game she learned late in life.
Phyllis had an incredible memory, and remembered every one of the more than 1000 students she taught during her lifetime. She could tell you what year she had them as a student, at what school, and often such details as what they got as a Christmas present that year. She retained her exceptional memory until the end of her life, and recounted numerous stories and genealogy of area families.
Phyllis was a member of St. James Catholic Church, the Muskegon Farm Bureau, and White Lake Senior Center. A lifelong Democrat, she cast her first presidential vote for FDR. She worked many years as an election inspector in Montague Township. She also helped write the 1990 and 1992 editions of Oceana County History, preserving family histories.
Phyllis was preceded in death by: her husband, Douglas in 1997; son, Joseph in 1981; her sister, Lois Mills; her parents; stepfather, George Thiel; and her nephew, Gary Mills.
Phyllis is survived by: nieces and nephews, Robert (Janell) Mills, Jim Mills, Patricia (James) Wangerin, Bev Mills, Janet (Mike) Bortfeldt, Marilyn Mills, Joanne (Rex) Kessler, and Carol (Paul Kissel) Mills; and good friend, Bryan VanNett.
The family would like to thank the staff of Harbor Hospice for their care and compassion shown to Phyllis.
Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00 AM, Saturday, October 16, 2021, at St. James Catholic Church, 5149 Dowling Street, Montague, MI 49437, with Rev. Peter Omogo officiating. Visitation will be held from 5:00 PM – 7:30 PM, Friday, October 15, 2021, at Harris Funeral Home, 267 North Michigan Avenue, Shelby, MI 49455, with a praying of the Rosary at 7:30 PM. Visitation will also be held Saturday, from 10:00 AM until time of services at the church. Interment will follow in Oak Grove Cemetery, Montague.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Samuel Omogo Foundation, samuelomogofoundation.org.
The Harris Funeral Home, in Shelby, is handling arrangements.