Phyllis Louise (Schaffer) Purple

BYRON – Phyllis Louise (Schaffer) Purple passed away at her home on Sept. 1st, 2022 in Byron, surrounded by her loving family after an extended illness.

She was born on March 14, 1941 in Peoria, to Ralph and Ruth (Bain) Schaffer. Phyllis married her high school sweetheart, Thomas J. Purple, on Aug. 16 1959.

Phyllis is survived by her husband of 63 years, sons Thomas Jr. (Tina) of Florida, Steven (Brenda) Pearl City, and daughter Christina (Patrick) Southwick of Byron.  She was a loving and proud Grandmother to Tyler (Andrea) Volkers, Brandie (Nick) Mowell, Ashley (Andrew) Gronewold, Ryan (Kaleb) Southwick, Amy (Nick) Mullens, Jeffrey (Sara) Purple, Jacquelyn (Samuel) Entenza, and nine great grandchildren. She is also survived by her Sister-in-Law Carol Kulas, a special family friend Karen Smith and their exchange student Yuko Sugata from Japan.

Preceeding her in death are her parents, brothers Donald Schaffer and Eldon Schaffer.

Early in her work life she was employed as graphic artist for an advertisement company for various newspapers in the Midwest. Her artwork was used for advertisements of various services and merchandise.  Her experience and talent as an artist gained the attention of many.  She was approached to illustrate two children’s books and took great pride in sharing her talents with many young readers.  Later she worked for the Illinois Department of Employment Security for several years before her retirement from the State of Illinois.

Phyllis shared her artistic creativity with her family and friends by painting and decorating their homes.  She also enjoyed taking vacations within the United States and internationally with her husband and with her “girls.”  She also enjoyed her dogs, gardening, old movies and being a grandmother and aunt.  She adored her family and kept in touch with nieces and nephews as well as the family in Scotland.

The funeral service was held on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2022 at 10 a.m. at Zion Community Church in Pearl City. There was a visitation on Friday, Sept. 9, 2022 also at the church from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Interment took place at Highland Cemetery in Pearl City. A memorial fund has been established. Condolences may be shared at






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