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Phyllis Rae Heinen

March 30, 1930 - May 19, 2020
Racine, WI

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Life Story / Obituary


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Phyllis Rae Heinen, age 90, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at Froedtert Lutheran Memorial Hospital with her loving sister-in-law Kathy by her side. Phyllis was born in Milwaukee on March 30, 1930, daughter of the late Leo and Gertrude (nee: Domaska) Heinen.

Phyliss graduated from Pulaski High School “Class of 1948”. She continued her education with the School Sisters of St. Francis earning her bachelor’s degree in Education from Alverno College. She taught in Colorado Springs and in Theresa, WI.

After leaving the convent, Phyliss enjoyed being part of the community of St. Benedict. She met Frank Toutant and became his partner and inherited his entire family Franks family loved her and welcomed her. They spent many enjoyable vacations in northern Wisconsin and family gatherings together. She was referred to as Grandma Phyllis by the grandchildren and will be dearly missed. Phyllis Heinen was a modern-day Renaissance woman with many interests, many talents and a never-ending hunger for knowledge. She was an accomplished watercolor artist whose paintings were exhibited within the last year at Home Harbor, her residence at the time of her death. She loved reading and books of all kinds, as well as periodicals which fed her curiosity, her open-mindedness and her hope for building a better world, a better way. Phyllis was a delightful friend who enjoyed the company of others, whether at family gatherings, the breakfast club after Sunday Mass, or the Women’s Society and parish activities at St. Patrick’s where she made her faith home. She was an avid weekly league bowler for as long as her body would allow it, enjoying the game, the fun and the comradery. It was a special pleasure to have her all to yourself, to sit down for a good and wide-ranging chat. She was well-versed on many topics, with Spirituality being especially dear to her heart and something to which she dedicated time and energy to investigate, to ponder and to exchange ideas with others who shared this priority. She believed in the natural way of sustaining health and knew about and used natural foods and sources of vitamins, minerals and health-giving alternatives to pharmaceuticals. Her personal ‘doctoring’ worked well, providing her with 90 years of life which she led to the fullest. She will be dearly missed by all who knew her for her positive attitude, her interest in life, ideas and people, her joy in the company of others and her love and appreciation for even the slightest kindness shown her.

Phyllis will be dearly missed by her sisters-in-law, Kathryn Heinen and Marian Heinen; stepchildren, William (Mary Ann) Toutant, Judith Nielsen, Terry (Laurie) Toutant. Phyllis is further survived by the loving families of her many nieces and nephews, other relatives and friends. In addition to her parents, Phyllis was also preceded in death by her siblings, Eugene Heinen, Betty Edwards, Audrey Drew and Jack Heinen.

A Memorial Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Patrick Catholic Church at a future date after the COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted.

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