Phyllis J. Pifer, 79, was born on June 7, 1933 unto Loyd and Julia Thompson on a small farm on the outskirts of Plainville, KS.  She was the third child born to Loyd and Julia Thompson.  Her two older siblings were Mary L. Thompson (now Mary L. Edson) and Robert A. Thompson.  In the 1940’s, Phyllis’s parents moved to a farm 2-miles east of Natoma, Kansas.  Phyllis graduated from Natoma High School in 1950.  On September 24, 1950, Phyllis married Rex L. Boyd, at the Loyd Thompson homestead 2-miles east of Natoma, Kansas.  Their marriage produced two sons, Lance A. Boyd in 1954 and Wesley S. Boyd in 1958.
 
The Boyd’s were members of the United Methodist Church in Natoma, Kansas.  Phyllis enrolled her boys in Sunday school and summer vacation Bible School classes.  It was truly a church home.  Phyllis operated the “Boyd’s Variety Store” in Natoma, Kansas, as her sons attended grade school and graduated from Natoma High School.  During those years, Phyllis longed to complete her college education.  In 1975, she began to finalize her path to academic success at Fort Hays State University.  Phyllis Pifer achieved her success by obtaining a Bachelors of Science Degree in Education, in May of 1979, from Fort Hays State University.  She furthered her education and received a Master of Science Degree from Fort Hays State University in 1984.  She was certified to teach Speech / Theater Arts; Elementary Education; Library Media; Gifted; English; and, Learning Disabilities.  Phyllis was a member of The Delta Kappa Gamma Society International.  Phyllis began her teaching career at Natoma High School.  On April 29, 1985, Phyllis lost her first husband, Rex L. Boyd, to cancer.  Within a few years of her loss, Phyllis began teaching at Bickerdyke Elementary School in Russell, Kansas.  On August 7, 1993, Phyllis married Robert “Bob” D. Pifer from Palco, Kansas, in the United Methodist Church at Natoma, KS.  They resided in Russell since the beginning of their marriage.  Bob came to the marriage with four children.  From oldest to youngest are Tamera Kemp, Greg Pifer, Patricia Johnson, and Leslie Bracket.  Bob worked as an Oilfield Pumper while Phyllis taught school in Russell.  They considered Otterbein United Methodist Church in Russell, Kansas, to be their church home.  Through the years, Lance Boyd settled in Gardner, Kansas.  Wesley Boyd settled in Oklahoma City.  With distance between Phyllis and her sons, Phyllis continued to identify with her sons and their interests.  Phyllis was Lance and Wesley’s number one fan.  In parallel to their interests, she took on computers, golfing, skeet shooting, bicycle riding, violin, and guitar.  She drove to Hutchinson, Kansas, to support her sons when they took on a 150-mile bicycle ride just to be with them in the evenings.  She rode a bicycle 12 miles beside Wesley as he was jogging around Lake Hefner in Oklahoma City on a Saturday morning.  Even though she was a graduate of Fort Hays State University, she was a huge OU Sooner fan because of son-supporting interest.  In 2012, she began following the Oklahoma City Thunder NBA franchise; another mother-son supporting interest.  For the last 15-years or so, Phyllis knew there would potentially be a telephone call from her boys between the hours of 5:00 pm and 6:15 pm on any given evening.  She made an extra effort to be available during that time frame to receive calls.  She notified the sons in advance if she would not be home on a given date.  Most of the Son-to-Mother calls were every day to every other day.  It was seldom that a mother-son telephone call would be expanded beyond a week.  She was so excited to hear from her boys on such a routine basis.  Her love was so strong for the boys, that each time a visit-departure would occur between Phyllis and one of her sons, tears would form in her eyes.  As part of Phyllis’s individual achievements during her retirement years, she sharpened her computer skills by taking years of online courses associated with computer graphics.  She additionally developed many congratulation, sympathy, and generic greeting cards for people using Hallmark software.
 
In her retirement years, Phyllis enjoyed traveling.  Phyllis and Bob made trips to Gardner, Kansas; Oklahoma City; Fort Worth, TX; Lakewood, CA; Friendswood, TX, and Manhattan, KS to be with her sister and each of their children.  Phyllis traveled to her grandchildren’s graduations, church events, dance recitals, and birthdays.  Other trips took her to Branson and Chicago.   Phyllis was a multiyear season ticket holder to the Encore series at Fort Hays State University.  Phyllis loved live music and theatrical events.  Phyllis frequented the local Russell library as she loved to read.   Phyllis frequented the Russell Senior Center where she and Bob ate lunch most days.  There, she furthered friendships with individuals within the community.  Phyllis was an active member in the local Beta-Delta Chapter, which is a united spiritual fellowship among teachers in Russell, Kansas.  She was historically one of the treasurers at the Senior Center in Russell.  She was member of the Ladies Auxiliary VFW.  Phyllis was proficient at journaling.  She logged her daily Bible verse studies.  She logged birthdays and events so she could send cards.  She wrote down every movie that she had watched for years.  If it was information associated with a hobby, a book, a fun web site address, a commitment, or just a thought in general, she wrote it down.
 
Phyllis had a love for her animals.  She had a great deal of pride in her ragdoll cat and her Shih Tzu dog.  She was active in an international online Shih Tzu forum.  She purchased numerous books on dogs and cats to fulfill her curiosity with regard to the various breeds.
In June of 2009, Phyllis found that she had cancer.  The cancer was first diagnosed as an ovarian type cancer.  After invasive surgery in November of 2009 and a round of chemotherapy, the cancer appeared to be gone.  By April of 2010, the cancer returned and the cancer had spread to the lung and liver.   Phyllis was a real trooper and was not about to have the cancer beat her.  Phyllis remained as proactive as possible between each of the chemo therapy treatments, which went on for another two and a half years.  Phyllis was a proud American.  She watched every political primary on television to determine whom she deemed to be the best candidate.  She once told her sons, even though she may not be around to cast her vote in November of 2012, she was forging forward with the best knowledgeable information in hopes to cast her ballot in the elections.  When Phyllis was well, Lance provided her with all of her computer support and over the phone computer troubleshooting.  When she began to have concentration issues because of the chemotherapy, Lance handed that job over to Wesley.  Wesley took over her computer support and her over the phone computer troubleshooting.
 
In a reflection of Bob Pifer and Phyllis Pifer; Bob Pifer once stated his traditional marriage vows to Phyllis as follows:  “I, Bob Pifer, take you Phyllis Boyd, to be my wife, to have and behold from this day on, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; until death do us part.”  To be commended is Bob’s commitment to his marriage vows associated with “In sickness and in health”.   For three years, Bob took Phyllis to local medical appointments, surgery, chemotherapy appointments, follow-up doctor’s appointments, and to/from numerous admissions in the hospital.
 
Phyllis was superseded in death by her parents, Loyd and Julia Thompson, her first husband Rex L. Boyd, and her brother, Robert A. Thompson.  She is survived in death by her husband, Robert D. Pifer and her sister Mary L. Edson from Friendswood, TX.  She is survived in death by her son Lance Boyd and his wife Cherry who produced two grandsons Alex J. Boyd and Matthew Boyd; from Gardner, Kansas.   She is survived in death by her son Wesley Boyd and his wife Diane Boyd who produced two granddaughters Elizabeth Boyd and Lauren Boyd; in Oklahoma City.   She is survived in death by two great grandchildren born unto Alex and Cali Boyd; being, Alex R. Boyd (known as AJ Boyd) and Keira Boyd.  She is survived in death by step children in marriage, Tamera Kemp, Greg Pifer, Patricia Johnson, and Leslie Bracket, and their families.

Celebration of Phyllis’ Life will be held at 11 AM Saturday, September 1, 2012 at the Otterbein United Methodist Church with Pastor Earl Haggard officiating.  Graveside service will be held at 1:30 PM, Saturday at the Natoma City Cemetery in Natoma, Kansas.  Visitation will be from 9 AM to 8 PM Friday, August 31, 2012 at Pohlman-Varner-Peeler Mortuary of Russell.  A memorial has been established with the Otterbein United Methodist Church.  Contributions and condolences may be sent in care of Pohlman-Varner-Peeler Mortuary, who is in charge of these arrangements.

 


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