Phyllis Ann (Cowell) Wintersteen

Born: Wed., Aug. 20, 1924
Died: Sat., Nov. 28, 2015


9:30 AM to 10:00 AM, Thu., Dec. 03, 2015
Location: All Faiths Chapel

Memorial Service

10:00 AM Thu., Dec. 03, 2015
Location: All Faiths Chapel

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  Phyllis Ann Wintersteen, 91, of the Illinois Veteran's Home in Quincy, formerly of Decatur, Illinois, died Saturday (November 28, 2015) in Blessing Hospital.

   Born August 20, 1924 in Spokane, Washington, Phyllis was the daughter of Clarence Cecil and Anastasia O'Malley Cowell.  She attended Northwestern University Law School at a time when the school accepted only two female law students per class. When another student arrived to the school three weeks into the semester, Phyllis was assigned to bring him up to date with their studies. The student was Carroll Vincent Wintersteen, whom Phyllis married on November 27, 1948 in Oak Park, Illinois. He preceded her in death on August 2, 2004.

   Phyllis graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a Bachelors Degree in Economics from the University of Washington and received her Juris Doctorate from Northwestern University in 1948. She later earned her teaching certificate from the University of Illinois and began teaching in the Decatur Public Schools. In her career as a teacher, Phyllis taught at Lakeview School, the Adult Continuation Center and then as an English teacher at Decatur MacArthur High School until her retirement.

   Phyllis enjoyed staying active by swimming and playing bridge. She was devoted to her family, loved going camping and to family functions and said her greatest accomplishment was that all of her eight children loved each other and got along.

   Survivors include seven children, Cathy Block (Winston) of Joliet, IL, Gary Wintersteen (Marianne) of Lockport, IL, Bruce Wintersteen (Carol) of Monticello, IL, Steve Wintersteen (Kaye) of Elgin, IL, Janet Valdes (Eliseo) of Bloomington, IL, Patrick Wintersteen (Tony) of Palm Springs, CA and Julie Laux (Paul) of Woodstock, MD; fifteen grandchildren, Tyler Block (Penelope), Tiffany Vaughan (Scott), Scott Wintersteen, Ross Wintersteen, Allison Powers, Andrew Powers, Christine Cartwright, Paul Wintersteen (Linda), Renae Grob (Ryan), Elena Gray (Ian), Dominique Valdes (Jamey), Dianna Jacobs (Adam), Marcos Valdes, Erika Laux and Robin Laux; ten great grandchildren; and many loving nieces and nephews.

   Phyllis was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Carroll; a daughter, Colleen Powers (Michael); a granddaughter, Tanja Block; a brother, Daniel Cowell; and two sisters, Mary Rita Andre and Elizabeth Anderson.

   Memorial services will be held Thursday morning at 10:00 in All Faiths Chapel at the Illinois Veteran's Home with Rev. Donald Blickhan officiating.

   Visitation will be Thursday morning from 9:30 until the time of services at the All Faiths Chapel.

   The Zehender Robinson Stormer Cookson Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

   Memorials may be made to the Illinois Veteran's Home Activity Fund.

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Condolence Booklet

Lynne Madden, Palm Springs
   Posted Sun November 29, 2015
My connection to Ann, is through Tony, a friend of nearly 40 years, Pat's husband. Ann, her daughter, and I believe her daughter in law was visiting Palm Springs, and I offered to come over and cook dinner for everyone. My memory, is of a gracious, smiley, lady, with a book in her hand, lying on the chaise lounge in a sunny window. Feisty, is a word I would describe, for the small framed lady, it was a lovely encounter. I have followed Ann's life through Tony through the years. I would like to express my condolences to her family, and say what a pleasure it was to have met her.

Lisa & Brian Jolles
   Posted Sun November 29, 2015
Julie, we never knew your mother, but what an impressive life story! We can see your resemblance to her and the sparkle in her eyes. So sorry for your loss, but sounds like she left a wonderful legacy and tons of family to enjoy.

Lisa & Brian

Meg Nagel
   Posted Wed December 02, 2015
To Phyllis's Family,

Your dear mother was vivacious, beautiful, intelligent, and best of all a wonderful friend. We shared a love of art, music, and swimming!

She was so good to me and my later husband, Walter, who had been a resident at IVHQ. Whenever I returned to Quincy I would always include Phyllis in luncheons with other members.

I was fortunate to speak with Phyllis just before Thanksgiving and we prayed together on the phone.

All of Phyllis' children are so very lucky to have had her for a fabulous mom.


Meg Nagel

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