Phyllis's Story

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Phyllis J. Bigler, 86, Goshen, went home to be with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Tuesday, March 7, at The Maples at Waterford Crossing, after a long struggle with Alzheimer's disease.
She was born Feb. 9, 1931, in Rochester, to Edgar and Ruby A. (Pownell) Rans.
She married Lewis R. "Louie" Bigler April 16, 1960, at Dunlap United Methodist Church in Elkhart. They have been married for 57 years.
He survives, as does a daughter, Kathy (John) Coleman, Elkhart; son, Jim (Heidi) Bigler, Elkhart; son, David Bigler, Indianapolis; and daughter, Cindy (Barry) Grife, Holmes Beach, Florida. Also surviving are seven grandchildren, Michael Coleman, Elkhart, Virginia (Jim) Burns, White Pigeon, Michigan, Brett (Brinnan) Bigler, Noblesville, Nick (Lauren) Bigler, Fishers, Alison Bigler and Jonathan Grife, both of Elkhart, and Justine Grife, Osceola; six great-grandchildren; along with nephews, Peter (Gretchen) Rans, Carmel, and Scot (Sarah) Rans, Minnetonka, Minnesota.
She was preceded in death by her parents and a brother and sister-in-law, Gerald (Harriet) Rans.
Phyllis graduated from Rochester High School in 1949 and attended both Indiana State University and Moody Bible Institute.
She and Louie were members of Grace Bible Church in Elkhart and then First Baptist Church of Elkhart for many years where they belonged to the Joint Heirs Sunday school class. Phyllis was an active member of First Baptist, volunteering for the Missionary Cupboard, singing in the church choir and as a nursery worker.
Early on, she was employed at First National Bank in Elkhart. She was then a homemaker for many years and assisted Louie at the tax business they ran out of their home on Hively Avenue in Elkhart. In later years, she worked part time at Tepe's in Elkhart.
Phyllis had many interests and talents. She bowled in a Thursday ladies' league at Oakland Lanes in Elkhart and golfed on ladies' leagues both at Old Orchard and Bent Oak golf courses for years. She was a helper at the Monger School Happy Day Club and volunteered with Meals on Wheels.
She enjoyed animals and nature, creating photo albums documenting their many travels, attending plays and concerts, singing, reading and knitting.
She was also an avid quilter, devoting many hours to making beautiful quilts for family and missionaries.
The family would like to thank The Maples at Waterford Crossing and Harbor Light Hospice for their excellent, loving care for Phyllis, Louie, and our family.
Visitation will take place Friday, March 10, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. with a funeral service immediately following at Hartzler-Gutermuth-Inman Funeral Home, 403 W. Franklin St., Elkhart.
Burial will take place at Prairie Street Cemetery in Elkhart at a later date.
Memorial contributions may be given to First Baptist Church of Elkhart.
Online condolences may be directed to www.hartzlergutermuthinman.com.
Published on March 8, 2017
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