Phyllis Wilhelmina Frei Butros
April 13, 1930-Feb. 3, 2023
Born in Ripon, WI to John and Elsie Frei, Phyllis was the fourth child of five who grew up on a farm in Green Lake County. Phyllis was an adventurous young adult deciding to leave the area for college and eventually graduating with a physical education degree from the University of WI-La Crosse ('52). After graduation, she worked as a Lutheran parish worker and in a settlement house in Detroit, MI with impoverished children in the early 1950s. Friends introduced her to her beloved Raeef Butros at an InterVarsity Christian Fellowship meeting. From there they grew and expanded their family with five daughters. Phyllis and Raeef moved many times over the years and lived in Detroit, MI, Pompton Plains, NJ, Warren, MI, Eau Claire, WI, Troy, MI, Medina, OH, Kewaskum, WI, Albuquerque, NM, and finally, White Bear Lake, MN.
Special moments in Phyllis' life include volunteering in churches where she often helped in nursing home visitation, taking her children in tow setting a wonderful example of caring for others. She was especially involved in settling Vietnamese families both in Eau Claire and Troy. She became so close to one of the families that they called her "mother." She loved to take care of children of neighbors who knew her as grandma. She loved to cook her grandchildren's favorite foods and make sure they were well fed at all times. Hobbies included sewing, and eventually, she took up quilt making and made sure all five daughters were given a handmade quilt.
Some adventures Phyllis and Raeef went on include trips to Hawaii, Europe, Grand Cayman, Florida, and finally in the late 90s, she went to the Holy Land and visited Raeef's family home in Ramallah. One of her most meaningful trips was a mission trip to Reboucas, Brazil. She and several other women went to the village to teach quilting and give gifts of sewing machines. She often spoke fondly of this trip. Bible study friends remember going to Moody Founders Week at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago with Phyllis and Raeef. She was like a magnet to the young college students who wanted to talk to her.
Phyllis will be greatly missed & is survived by her beloved husband of 68 years, Raeef, daughters, Ruth Butros, Wendy Wong (Jeff), Nancy Day (Jess), Julie Kendall (Eric, deceased), and Linda Eberhardt (Steven). Grandchildren include Jeff Marty, Jordan (Jackie) Wong, Aaron (Hannah) Day, Rachel Day, Bethany Day, Rebecca (David) Kendall, Michael Kendall, Graham Eberhardt, Gretchen Eberhardt, Darin Eberhardt, and Lanell Fuller. Great grandchildren include Amelia, Nicholas, Eliana, Lilah, Elijah, Jeries, Aidan, Reese, Shaelynn, Brittany and Breanna.
Phyllis was preceded in death by her parents, John and Elsie Frei; and siblings Grace Hazlewood, Fritz Frei, Robert Frei, and Ruth Ott. The Butros family is especially grateful to Selwa Hanhan (sister-in-law) and Isam Hanhan (nephew) for their continuous support and love through this most difficult time.
Service Saturday, February 11, 2023 at 1:00 pm with visitation starting at 12 Noon at MUELLER MEMORIAL, 4738 Bald Eagle Avenue, White Bear Lake. Burial will be Monday at St. Mary of the Lake Cemetery, White Bear Lake.
Memorials are preferred to flowers to Lakes Area Feed My Starving Children Mobile Pack at https://give.fmsc.org/give/460122/#!/donation/checkout
The memorial service for Phyllis Butros will be livestreamed on Saturday February 11th at 1pm at this link: https://youtube.com/live/YLy7cDM62ek If unexpected broadcasting issues arise, we will post a recording of the service as soon as possible.
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.