Cover photo for Phyllis M. Schaefer's Obituary
Phyllis M. Schaefer Profile Photo

Phyllis M. Schaefer

June 11, 1931 — March 31, 2023

Phyllis M. Schaefer


With heavy hearts we send our Mother Phyllis on her final earthly journey. Phyllis was rare and remarkable, with an inquisitive, observant and loyal nature. She charmed all that met her and knew her with her lively eyes, quick wit and her way of always remembering important things about you. She was fun and engaging and in her whole life she never met a stranger.  Phyllis was born in Chicago in 1931 to Louis and Mary Skibicki; her Polish immigrant parents raised a devoted Catholic family. She is survived by her eldest brother Louis Skibicki (Corrine) and predeceasing Phyllis are her brother Robert Skibicki (Betty) and sisters Alice Klein (Frank) and Carol Goggins (Richard). When Phyllis was 14, their dear Mother tragically passed away. Louis later married Balbina Wrinkol and her (predeceased) brothers Ronald Skibicki (Mary) and Thomas Skibicki (Debbie) completed the family.  Phyllis attended Catholic Girls schools where she was taught by nuns, blossoming into the intelligent young lady (with beautiful handwriting) who married Emil in 1950 at age 19. Emil entered the Korean War weeks after the wedding and both were devastated by the separation. On return from the war, they lived in Chicago where their first son, Mark Schaefer (Holly) of Dahlonega, Georgia, was born. Sons David Schaefer (Denise) of Warrenville Illinois, Timothy Schaefer (Christine) of Goose Creek, South Carolina came next followed by daughter Donna Bauer (Brad) of Oregon, Illinois.  In the late 1950’s Phyllis and Emil moved from the city to Lombard, Illinois to be near her sister Alice; and together raise their families in a pleasant, small town. Then daughter Nancy Schaefer, Oregon, Illinois and son Peter Schaefer, Santa Fe, New Mexico joined the happy family of eight.  When the children grew and began lives of their own Phyllis and Emil were thrilled to spend their days together. Emil’s love of golf gave him great pleasure while Phyllis kept a happy home and took on yoga practice, eventually leading community classes. Their move to Bella Vista, Arkansas in the early nineties was exciting for them and brought them many new friends and experiences.  Many happy memories were made as Phyllis and Emil traveled widely through the United Kingdom, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, Australia, Fiji, Tahiti, South America, South Africa and across the US. They also enjoyed cruises on the QE II and Queen Mary. Emil was a homebody, but he gladly indulged his sweetheart’s life-long love of travel. Phyllis was passionately devoted to Emil, the love of her life, her husband for 64 years. Sadly, he predeceased her in 2014.  In her 89th year Phyllis made a solo trip to Vietnam to travel the Mekong River, nothing could hold her back. Then in 2020, at her family’s request, Phyllis moved to Oregon, Illinois to live with daughter Nancy. She was lovingly cared for and continued her hobbies; she enjoyed watching PBS, tracking the stock market and keeping her mind as sharp as ever with her love of numbers and word puzzles. She made many new friends even in her final days. Phyllis loved her babies and we loved her. Her lively spirit will be forever remembered and forever missed by her six children, thirteen grandchildren, twelve great-grandchildren and many adoring nieces and nephews; also, her special Arkansas friends Peg, Dawn and Caroline.  A funeral mass and Celebration of Life will be held 11:00 am, Saturday, May 20, 2023 at the St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Oregon, IL with the Rev. Joseph Naill officiating. Arrangements made by Farrell Holland Gale Funeral Home. Memorial Donations in Phyllis’ honor can be made to Serenity Hospice and Home, Oregon, IL or VFW Post #8739, Oregon IL.


Oregon, IL VFW Post 8739 - 1310 W. Washington Street, Oregon, IL 61061

Phone: (815) 732-6851 

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Past Services

Funeral Mass and Celebration of Life

Saturday, May 20, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

Saint Mary Catholic Church, Oregon

301 N 4th St, Oregon, IL 61061

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