Phyllis D. Nikunen, age 78, of Clarion, IA, passed away Tuesday, March 2, 2021, at Iowa Specialty Hospital in Clarion.
Phyllis Dianne Junttila, the daughter of John and Julia (Walikainen) Junttila, was born Aug. 31, 1942, in South Range, MI.
Phyllis graduated from L’Anse High School in L’Anse, MI, in 1960. She continued her education at Suomi Junior College, majoring in accounting, graduating in 1961. While at Suomi Junior College, she toured Europe with the college choir.
Phyllis was united in marriage to Pastor Jerome Nikunen, Sept. 14, 1963, in Chassell, MI. The couple followed their callings to various towns and states throughout their marriage.
Phyllis held many jobs over the years, including a certified chiropractor assistant, dental assistant, sales representative for Thrivent, special education para, and helped with the disabled. Her biggest passion of all was being a pastor’s wife and homemaker.
Phyllis enjoyed reading, collecting dolls, and churches, sewing, and camping with her family. Every summer the family would make their way to the family cabin on Twin Lakes.
Phyllis is remembered for being very social and kind hearted. It was often stated that “Dad was the head of the household, but she was the neck that turns the head.” She always put family and the Lord first.
Phyllis is survived by her husband of 58 years of marriage, Pastor Jerome; son, Jeff and Brenda Nikunen and their children, Jeremy, Jessica, Rose, Samuel, and Caleb; daughter, Rebecca (Dale) Trushenski and children, Marcus, Daniel, Jonathan, Annika, and Ronnie (Kayla); sister, Kathy (Dave) Nikunen; brothers-in-law, John Feldman and Bruce (Marsha) Nikunen; sisters-in-law, Kris (Glen) Kloempken, and Susan Wiles, along with numerous nieces and nephews.
Phyllis was preceded in death by her parents; brother, John Junttila; and grandson, Peter.
A memorial service took place at 2 p.m. Tuesday, March 9 at Good Shepherd Free Lutheran Church of Cokato.
Swanson-Peterson Funeral Home & Cremation Service, 320-286-2534, served the family.