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Phyllis (Hunter) Nelson, 80,

Phyllis (Hunter) Nelson, 80, of Surprise, Ariz., passed away March 25, 2023, after a brief illness.
She was born May 9, 1942, to the late William Hunter and Doris (Hunter) Swenson and grew up in Lancaster, Minn. She graduated high school there and obtained her LPN degree from the Wahpeton School of Science in Wahpeton, N.D.
She was wed to Ronald Nelson in 1962 and together they raised two daughters, Kimberly and Kristi, and enjoyed a long-lasting, 60-year marriage.
Phyllis spent many years working as an LPN in the health care industry, then together with her husband, they owned and operated Dalen’s Resort in Birchwood, Wis., for many more years.
In retirement, she and her husband followed their children and grandchildren to the warmer climates of Arizona where they’ve resided in an active retirement community. Phyllis enjoyed the many games and activities of the retirement park but one of her favorite pastimes seemed to be collecting people. She would strike up a conversation with anyone, anywhere, and never seemed to forget a name. Her other favorite pastime was, of course, the time spent with her great-grandbabies and family.
Phyllis is survived by her husband, Ron; daughters, Kimberly (Joseph) Haskins and Kristi Gardner; grandchildren, Jasmine (Kevin) Richards, Jacob Gardner, and Jade (Michael) Jenkins; great-grandchildren Breydan Drescher, Kaiden Richards, Alexa Richards, Kinley Drescher, Declan Richards, Maya Jenkins, Mila Jenkins and bonus great-grandchildren Karley and Beau Kelley; brother, Larry (Ann) Hunter; sisters, Shirley (Perry) Pearson and Carley (John) Stenquist; sister-in-law, Marilyn (Robert) Stanger, and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
She was preceded in death by both parents; stepfather, Carl Swenson; sisters, Carol Jean (Glad) Dahlquist and Connie (Swenson) Bergeson; and great-grandson, Jett Jaxx Gardner.
Phyllis was a member of the Lutheran faith and churches in the various communities she lived in. A memorial service will be performed with the communal services done at their retirement community, at a date to be determined.
We will dearly miss our loving wife, mother, sister, grandmother, and great-grandmother.


  1. Glenda on April 5, 2023 at 10:45 am

    Phyllis and I became great friends 11 yr ago.We we’re both retired nurses and loved the north. She helped me learn shuffle board and reprimanded me until I got the shot right. We had great times badgering back and forth and we had great intense discussions about health, life and our heart disease I miss her.We’d run into each other in our walks and spent ages talking instead. I love Phyliss and Ron. Great pp.Glenda Carter Alberta 🇨🇦

  2. Les and Jan Baade on April 5, 2023 at 11:11 am

    Phyllis was one of our favorite Sunflower friends – what wonderful memories of her we have ❤️ She is missed by us and everyone else in our community🌹

  3. June Hanson Drake on April 9, 2023 at 3:21 pm

    I would like to express my condolences to Phyllis’ family. I remember Phyllis as a very friendly person and she always had a smile. Her mother was my first cousin and our families had many interactions over the years. Since we both moved away as adults we seldom saw each other except when our visits to Lancaster happened at the same time. Phyllis always had that friendliness about her. I’m sure she will be missed so much by all of her family and friends. I send my sympathy and love to all of you. June Hanson Drake

  4. Deb McLeod on April 12, 2023 at 7:31 am

    I meet Phyllis at Sunflower while playing shuffleboard and bocci. We always had great fun and conversations during the games. She helped me when I had some health issues and gave some important advice. I was not able to not see to see her for the past 3 years, but we always kept in touch through texting. I was very much looking forward in seeing her next year. It saddens me that this will not be. My condolences to Ron and her two daughters. I will miss her.

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