Obituary for Phyllis Lorraine Wulf (Hildebrand)
Phyllis L. Wulf, 91, of Evergreen, CO, formerly of Plankinton, SD passed away on Monday, May 29, 2017 at the Life Care Center of Evergreen in Colorado. Funeral Services are 11:00 A.M. Friday, June 9, 2017 at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Plankinton. A Committal Service will follow at Mizpah Cemetery. No Visitation will be held.
Phyllis Lorraine (Hildebrand) Wulf was born to Charles and Stella (Dyk) Hildebrand on October 18, 1925, at home on her parent’s farm north of Plankinton, South Dakota. She was the youngest of five children and was born quite a bit later than her four older siblings, which had the effect of her being raised almost as an only child. But not for long…she had 11 nieces and nephews who she was very close with and they all grew up together. She lived on the farm while she was growing up, but at times also lived in town with her older sister’s family to attend school when there were no open country schools nearby. She spent many happy childhood years riding her favorite horse, Belle. She loved music her entire life and was a gifted soprano singer. She was also a talented artist and won an art scholarship to the University of South Dakota. After high school graduation from Plankinton in 1944, she attended specialized classes needed to obtain her certification to teach in the rural school system in South Dakota. She became a teacher at the age of 18 and taught in one-room country schools for several years.
On June 9, 1945 she married Glen Wulf, her childhood sweetheart, at the home of his sister and brother-in-law, Joe and Agnes Vlasman in Mitchell, SD. Just like their families before them, they too were farmers and later expanded into ranching. Glen and Phyllis had one child – a daughter, Roxanne. They were together 60 years until Glen’s death in 2005.
Phyllis was an accomplished seamstress who sewed many of her and her daughter’s clothes. Over the course of her lifetime Phyllis was involved in church activities, volunteer organizations, politics, community projects, and held various jobs, which she enjoyed. She was very creative in developing various highly successful fund-raising activities for the Easter Seal Society, which she led on the local and state level for many years.
Phyllis was a leader and always very interested in the world around her and wanted to affect change wherever she could, which led her to become a “pioneer” woman in several areas. She found great satisfaction in working in the political arena. She was a leader in the Democratic Party for almost 50 years – working on many election campaigns on local, state, and national levels. She worked tirelessly on the legislative processes that helped shape the laws. She held various political offices from County Chairman to the State Vice Chairman of the Democratic Party and served as the Assistant Secretary of State for five years. She was also appointed by the Governor to serve on many state boards; including Children and Youth, State Medical Services, and was one of the original state consumer advocates for national “Truth in Packaging” legislation which created laws leading to the current requirements for food companies to disclose the contents of products sold to the public.
When Phyllis moved to Colorado she started a new career direction and was Personnel Director for a large hotel and Manager of a popular restaurant. She became a Recruitment Broker for a career placement agency and eventually started her own business. She and Glen sold their ranch and went into retirement in the late 1990’s – although true to their life’s patterns, they both kept on working for a long time! Phyllis and Glen were members of the Lutheran Church of the Cross in Evergreen. Phyllis always enjoyed people, animals, and the beauty of nature.
Her daughter, Roxanne Wulf of Evergreen, CO and numerous nieces and nephews survive her.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Glen (October 18, 2005); her parents; two sisters: Alice and Thelma; and two brothers: Edward and Earl.
Memorials in honor of Phyllis may be directed to: Alzheimer's Association SD Office, 1000 N. West Avenue, Suite 250, Sioux Falls, SD 57104.