Phyllis Jeanette Atkins (Nelson), age 91, passed away peacefully at home on May 6, 2016, eighteen short days after suffering a stroke.
Affectionately named “Babe” by her brother and sisters, Phyllis lived her nickname by exemplifying love, tenderness, kindness, forgiveness and compassion throughout her abundant and full life. She met Robert Atkins, her husband of 71 years, while still in high school, and they married in St. Paul shortly after she turned 18. Family and faith were Phyllis’ core. She was devoted to her husband who cherished her gentle soul, and their children remain overwhelmed with their good fortune to call her Mom. Phyllis participated fully in the United Methodist Churches of Afton and Finlayson, MN, later joining the Hudson, WI UMC in 2008. Her service at the Afton church, both as secretary and in leadership roles, embellished her work skills, and shortly after her seventh child she began a career part-time then full, eventually retiring from 3M after 12 years as an Executive Secretary with an exemplary record. Her hobbies included anything to do with family time, golf, baking, gardening, Bible study, card games, word puzzles, and crocheting. Each of her children and many of her grandchildren cherish the Afghans made especially for them that still adorn their homes.
Preceded in death by her husband, Robert D. Atkins; son Kent; parents, Julius Christian Nelson and Frances Charlotte (Chermak); and her siblings: Harold Nelson, Dolores Nelson (Colby) and Elaine Nelson (Nelson). Phyllis is survived by her children: Laurie Hilty (Bill), Mark, Steve (Sheri Dubois), John (Stephanie Johnston), Leslie, and Sarah (John Hoggatt); 16 grandchildren; and 10 (soon to be 11) great-grandchildren.
Visitation will be held from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m., Friday, May 13 at the O’Connell Family Funeral Home, 520 S. 11th St., Hudson WI. Service will be at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, May 14 at Hudson United Methodist Church, 1401 Laurel Ave, Hudson, WI with a visitation one hour prior to the service, followed by a luncheon. Interment will follow at Elmhurst Cemetery in St. Paul.