Phyllis Iola Reed of Lonedell, departed this life in St. Clair, on November 17, 2019, having reached the age of 92 years and 13 days.
Phyllis was born in St. Louis, MO, on November 4, 1927, daughter of Jesse F. Fryer and Louise Fryer nee Harmon.
As a young woman she was united in marriage to Leslie J. Reed until his death in 1998. They were married for 52 years and were blessed with six children. In 2003, Phyllis married Jack Lewis of Lonedell, and resided with him on his farm until her death.
In addition to her husband, Phyllis is survived by her children, Lance Reed of Sullivan, Cara McMillan (Del) of Columbia, MO, Ronda Perkins (Monty) of Eureka, MO, Lisa Conway (Tom) of St. Clair; 17 grandchildren; 28 great-grandchildren; 1 great-great-grandson; 1 sister-in-law, Emma Reed Carey of St. Clair; other relatives and many friends.
Phyllis was preceded in death by her husband, Leslie J. Reed; her parents, Jesse F. and Louise Fryer; brother, Neil Fryer; sister, Lucille Patrick; son, Gale Reed; daughter, Debra Stelzer; and stepson, Scott Lewis.
After graduating from Sullivan High School in 1944, Phyllis began her teaching career in the Stanton/Anaconda area where she taught for the next 20-plus years. In 1970, she embarked on a new career as the operator of a Missouri State License Office in St. Clair. She continued working in this position in the St. Clair/Sullivan for over 20 years. In 1992, Phyllis ran for the position of 2nd District Commissioner, and became the first female commissioner in Franklin County history. In 2000 she was honored with the Outstanding Citizen of the 20th Century Award by the Franklin County Historical Society.
In addition to her regular jobs, Phyllis, along with her husband, Leslie, owned and operated several businesses including Reed’s Tax Service for 50 years, Reed’s Auction Service, Reed’s Realty, and St. Clair Motel. One of their first enterprises was operating the riding stables at Meramec Caverns in 1947.
Phyllis was a past member of the Franklin County Historical Society, the Phoebe Apperson Hearst Historical Society, the Franklin County Extension Council, Eastern Star and the Franklin County Democratic Central Committee. She also served on the executive board of the Mid East Area Agency on Aging and was a long-time member of the American Legion Auxiliary in St. Clair.
Memorials to the ECC Foundation for Debra Reed Stelzer Memorial Fund are appreciated in lieu of flowers.