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Phyllis C. Ward, age 82, of Stanton, passed away on December 31, 2021 at Spectrum Health in Greenville.  The daughter of Burnell & Wilma (Richardson) Helms, she was born on June 12, 1939 in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Phyllis went to Morley Schools in her youth and later earned her Nursing Degree at Bay De Noc College in Escanaba, Michigan.  She spent several years in Rudyard, Michigan as an elementary Teacher’s Aid, EMT Volunteer and later as an EMT Instructor. While residing in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, she was a nurse at War Memorial Hospital as well as a volunteer at the I-500 snowmobile race food wagon.  In her retirement years she volunteered as “Grandma Phyllis” at the Stanton Elementary School helping the students in her class however needed. She also enjoyed crocheting, crafts, playing cards, John Wayne westerns, and country music.

She was preceded in death by her brother Delwyn Helms and parents Burnell and Wilma Helms.  Surviving are her brother, Darle (Carol) Helms (Grand Haven, Mi); her four sons, Brian (Debbie) Ward of Chesterfield, David Ward of Cadillac, Chris (Tonya) Ward of Kinross, and Mike (Amy) Ward of Clinton Township; her daughter, Lorretta (Dave) Holden of Paradise;  twenty-three grandchildren; and seventeen great-grandchildren.

To send a message of sympathy to the family, sign Phyllis’ online guest book, or to share a favorite memory, please visit:

Cremation arrangements are entrusted to Christiansen’s Michigan Cremation & Funeral Care, Greenville, (616) 754-5638.

A note from her daughter, Lorretta:
Obituaries rarely sum up the years of accomplishments, hardships, nor the network of others who encouraged, gave grace, and loved through pivotal moments, seasons and sometimes for a lifetime. I am thankful for the resilience my mom showed and lived. I am thankful she was a faithful friend to many. I am thankful she chose life for my brothers and myself. I am also thankful for the unsung heroes of her life; her mother Wilma (and father Burnell), who in 1939 rescued her as a newborn baby, adopted her, and loved her unconditionally until her death, her older brother Darle who was an anchor of help through every season of her life, and her faithful cousins whom she loved and who loved her.
Phyllis C. Ward was a life of value.
Love You Mom

A Graveside Memorial will be announced in the spring.  In Lieu of Flowers, please send donations to the Rudyard volunteer EMS, Rudyard, Michigan.


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1 Condolence

  1. Bob Elmer on February 10, 2022 at 10:57 am

    Phyllis lived next door to my mom in Six Lakes for several years. She was always nice to my mom and I had the opportunity to visit with her on many occasions. Sorry to hear of her passing.

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