Phyllis Alquest, age 80, Winfield, died at home Good Friday April 19, 2019 surrounded by her devoted family, following a long and difficult battle with breast cancer. A gathering of family and friends will begin at 10:00 AM Thursday, April 25, 2019 at Shelley Family Funeral Home 803 Loomis, Winfield, followed by a Memorial Service at 11:00 AM led by the Reverend Ken Hathaway. Burial will follow at Springside Cemetery south of Arkansas City. Contributions in Phyllis’ name may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Memphis; or to any of several animal rights or rescue organizations, care of Shelley Family Funeral Home.
Phyllis was born in Labette County, Parsons, Kansas February 10, 1939 to William and Josephine Habiger. The Habiger’s were a farm family. Phyllis was active in 4-H as were her parents and siblings. They were also active in the Catholic Church and Phyllis was graduated from St. Patrick’s High School in 1957. A major focus was always music. Phyllis was an accomplished pianist and organist and studied organ at Mount Saint Scholastic College in Atchison.
Phyllis and John Alquest, Winfield, were married June 24, 1961 at St Mary’s Church in Parsons. They made their home in Parsons for several years where John taught school and later worked as a social worker. In the early 1970’s the family moved to Mulvane with their children Alan, Brian and Pamela, where they remained until the children were graduated from high school. Phyllis was employed during that time as a medical secretary with the University of Kansas, School of Medicine Wichita. She was organist at Saint Michael’s Church in Mulvane for better than fifteen years.
Following retirement, Phyllis and John moved to Winfield. Phyllis’ time spent with her children and grandchildren and with her own extended family was always her greatest joy. She also enjoyed sewing (quilting), flower gardening, birding, photography and travel. She and John spent many years traveling throughout United States and Canada in their motor home. She loved following the migration routes of birds, especially the sand hill cranes and shore birds. Phyllis had great reverence for the simple things of life, and always railed when anyone tried to elevate her accomplishments. She enjoyed the sun, the wind, the rain, the trees, the birds and her flowers; and especially the love of all those around her. She will be missed beyond measure.
Phyllis is survived by her husband John, children Alan and wife Sherry, Winfield, Brian and wife Brenda, Derby, Pamela and husband Phil, Wichita; her sister Charlene, Parsons and brother Robert and wife Lynn Albuquerque; and five grandchildren and one great-grandchild. She was preceded in death by her parents and brother Paul whose lived in Kansas City, MO.