Phyllis Neeson (Paul)
Phyllis E. Neeson, age 76, of Janesville peacefully walked into her Heavenly Father’s arms on Saturday, April 21, 2018. She was born during a tornado in Avalon, WI, on April 17, 1942. As her father would say, “She was born on a fence post.” She is the daughter of the late Harlow and Geraldine (Bauer) Paul. Phyllis married her childhood sweetheart, Gerald Dabson, on December 7, 1958. Jerry remained an important part of her life. On February 6, 1970 she married her beloved, John J. Neeson, who predeceased her. Phyllis was a very active member of Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church for many years, serving as co-president of LWIM, helping with funeral luncheons, and serving others through several mission projects she held dear.
Phyllis attended Janesville High School and later in life earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science: Criminal Justice from UW-Whitewater. While her children were growing up, Phyllis was a very involved and active mother. She was the neighborhood “mom” to many, welcoming anyone and everyone into her family’s home. She was routinely seen at youth sports and activities as she supported her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren at numerous events over the years. Phyllis was the first female manager of Janesville Little League Baseball and helped form and coach the Janesville Youth Soccer League. She was also an avid bowler in her younger years, participating in the Thursday Woman’s League at Playmore and Sunday Couple’s League at Franklin Gardens.
Phyllis was a people person. She enjoyed working as a waitress at Town & Country Restaurant, as a Banquet Hostess at the Hoffman House, a cake decorator at Woodman’s Grocery, as the head cashier at Kohl’s Grocery Store, the warranty clerk at Rock County Buick, and retired as a service writer for Gene Dencker Buick Pontiac in Beloit. Phyllis was a very well-respected employee and became lifelong friends with many of her co-workers and customers.
Family was important to Phyllis. She hosted many potlucks and holiday gatherings in her home. After her son and grandson moved to Louisiana, it became her second home where she made additional friends whom she called her “Louisiana Family”. Phyllis enjoyed going to the cabin near Iron River, WI, fishing, camping, skiing, reading, and puzzles. She was an avid gardener and always kept a meticulous yard. She was well known for cooking and baking, from her wonderful cookies and desserts, to her famous apple pies. She always said, “it’s all in the crust that makes it a great pie!“ She was a devoted Cubs fan and loved her Packers.
She is survived by her children: Anna (Donnie) Fuller of Edgerton, Cheryl (Marty) Hjerstedt of Stoughton, Bud Dabson of Janesville, and Anthony (Missy) Neeson of Hammond, LA; grandchildren whom she treasured: Andrew (Angie) Holmes, Kayla (Jacob) Backhaus, Matthew Hjerstedt, Ryan Holmes, Travis (Megan Dorn) Fuller, Tyler Fuller, Mia Fuller, Robert Fuller, Jax Neeson, and Piper Neeson; great-grandchildren whom she adored: Isabelle Holmes, Isaiah Holmes, and David Backhaus; her first husband and lifelong friend: Jerry Dabson; and many nieces, nephews, other relatives and many friends.
She is further survived by her brothers: Harlow and George; brothers and sisters-in-law: Ron Zabel (Darlene Jackson), Gary Gatrel, Marjorie Paul, Jeanette Harris, Mary and Gerald Paulson, Claudia and Buck Williams, Rose Donagan, Pat Bernier, and Julie and Don Parker. She was predeceased by her parents, husband of 42 years: John; two sisters: Susan Zabel and Carol Gatrel; and brother: James (Butch) Paul.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 AM on Saturday, April 28, 2018 at Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church with Rev. David Bergelin officiating. Visitation will be on Saturday from 10:00 AM until the time of the service at the church. Memorials would be greatly appreciated if they were made to her family to be distributed to the numerous charities that were dear to Phyllis.
A very special thank you to Sister Jan for her visits, prayers, and enduring friendship; her church family at Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church; the staff at Community Connections; and many others who have provided care and showered Bud with love over the years. Also thank you to the Doctors, Nurses, and staff at Mayo Clinic, SSM Health Hospital and Clinic, and the staff at Agrace Hospice for the exceptional care, compassion, and support given to Phyllis and her family.