Phyllis Van Es, 70, was received by the Lord on Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022, while under hospice care in Clarkesville, GA.
A celebration of her life will be held at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 20, at Grinnell Christian Church. The service will be livestreamed on Smith Funeral Home Facebook page beginning at 9:45 a.m. A luncheon will follow the service in the Family Life Center (gymnasium) of the church. Interment will be at Hazelwood Cemetery in Grinnell. Memorials may be directed to Grinnell Christian Church, KSKB Christian Radio, or Torch Ministries and sent in care of Deb Callahan, 1364 Deer Path Court, Estes Park, CO 80517.
Phyllis was born Jan. 6, 1952 in Slayton, MN, to Henry and Ruby (Dierenfeld) Kreun. She was raised on a farm in the Chandler, MN, area. She attended Chandler Christian Grade School and graduated from Southwest Christian High School in Edgerton, MN, with the Class of 1970. She attended Northwestern College in Orange City from 1970-1972.
Oct. 28, 1972, she was married to Jim Van Es in Chandler, MN. Following their marriage, the couple lived in Orange City where Phyllis worked at The Dutch Mill and L&K Clothing. They moved to Grinnell in 1973, and Phyllis began working at Bob Reimer Clothing store. In 1979, she started a women’s clothing boutique called Images on Main, Inc. She owned and operated Images, along with Nancy Agnew, until the death of her husband in 2006.
After Jim’s passing, she worked as an activities coordinator at Windsor Manor, Grinnell, for a time. For many years, she taught Sunday school at Grinnell Christian Church; she volunteered for Meals on Wheels, KSKB Christian Radio Station, and other local charitable organizations in the Grinnell community.
In 2010 when her mom and dad required additional help, she moved into their home in Chandler, MN, to help care for them for several years. When they moved into a nursing home, she moved back to Grinnell.
Soon thereafter, she found a new opportunity to serve, becoming manager of My Father’s Guest House for Haiti Under God in Port au Prince, Haiti, from 2014-2018. She continued in that role when the guest house changed ownership to Love Him Love Them, from 2018 to the present. While in Haiti, she also helped tutor young Haitians who were trying to improve their English language skills, by utilizing the Bible as their reference manual, in a Gospel English Class. She had a heart for orphans, raising funds to help support several children’s homes and schools in Haiti.
She and Jim took such joy in being honorary grandparents to Brock Werner. She was also honored to serve as a mother to her Haitian sons Fresnel Augustin, Jean Eight Auguste, and Gesner Charles. They have grown into wonderful gentlemen, and she considers them to be a true gift from God to her.
Phyllis worked in a number of different roles in her life; as a waitress, a salesperson, owner/operator of a clothing boutique, caretaker, hostess, and missionary; and in all of them, she was a Curator of Relationships and a Witness for Jesus Christ.
Phyllis is survived by her brother Daniel Kreun of Marshall, MN; her sisters Esther (Robert) Graham of Elyria, OH. Laura (Terry) Muller of Penny Farms, FL, Anna (Donald) Godeke of Hollandale, MN, Karen (Chuck) Dorner of Sobieski, WI, and Deborah Callahan of Estes Park, CO; sister-in-law Brenda (Larry) DeWild of Boyden; brother-in-law Duane (Mary) Van Es of Boyden; many nieces, nephews, and friends.
She was preceded in death by her husband James Van Es; her parents Henry and Ruby Kreun; her father and mother-in-law Arnold and Angeline Van Es; her brother Samuel Kreun; and her nephew Timothy Godeke.