Phyllis Jean Utsinger was born on February 4, 1929 to John August and Alice Amelia (Simon) Jessen in Denison, Iowa. She was baptized and later confirmed her faith at Zion Lutheran Church in Denison. She graduated from Deloit High School with the class of 1947. Following her education, she married Virgil Slectha on July 27, 1947. Together they had one son, Gary Slechta born on March 3, 1948. The family lived in the Denison area for several years after marriage and then relocated to the Council Bluffs area. She was employed with several different companies doing secretary work. Later, she married Phil Utsinger and enjoyed traveling and trucking with him.
Phyllis was a previously a member of Southside Christian Church in Council Bluffs, where she spent a lot of time volunteering. Approximately seven years ago she relocated to Denison and became a member of Our Savior Lutheran Church. She enjoyed vegetable gardening and caring for her plants and flowers. She looked forward watching and feeding the birds outside her home. She cherished her rescue dog, Marco. When she lived in Council Bluffs, she did foster care for dogs. She also spent time volunteering at the animal shelter. Phyllis will be remembered for her hard work and being the special aunt, she was.
Phyllis passed away, surrounded by her family, at the Crawford County Memorial Hospital in Denison at the age of 92 years, 10 months and 11 days.
Phyllis was preceded in death by her parents; son, Gary Slechta; two husbands: Virgil Slechta and Phil Utsinger; infant sister, Betty Ann Jessen; siblings-in-law: Dianne Jessen and James Hart; and nephew, Todd Jessen. She is survived by three siblings: Lois Hart of Charter Oak, John "Jack" and wife, Delores Jessen of Denison, and James "Jim" Jessen and special friend, Joyce Esser of Charter Oak; several nieces and nephews; and many special friends.
Visitation will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, December 18, 2021 with the funeral service to follow at 10:30 a.m. all at the Huebner Funeral Home in Denison. Interment will be held in King Cemetery near Vail. Memorials may be directed to the Senior Center or Crawford County Memorial Transportation.