COVID-19 Updates

Phyllis Maxine Dunn

Mar 26, 2022

Phyllis Maxine Dunn

March 26, 2022


Phyllis Maxine Dunn, 94, died at her home on March 26, 2022, surrounded by her living children and caregivers. She was born in 1928 in Aberdeen, South Dakota. She experienced tragedy early in life, losing her brother, Eugene, in 1936 and her mother in 1941 after the birth of her brother Tom, who survives. Phyllis married George Dunn in 1950 after which they had six children: Deborah (Steve), Diane (Richard), Michael (Judy), Mary Ann (Louis), Joan (Robert), and Sally (Gene). She was preceded in death by her husband of 57 years, daughter Diane, and son-in-law Richard. She is also survived by thirteen grandchildren and twelve great-grandchildren.

Phyllis's life was about education and family. She loved school from the time she began at age 5 in a one-room schoolhouse with all eight elementary grades and as many as 30 students. She walked one and a half miles every day on an unpaved path in all kinds of weather to reach the classroom. Later she attended Redfield schools from which she graduated in 1946. She earned an Associates' Degree from Northern State Teachers College and taught in various positions in South Dakota until she and George began their family. In 1954 they moved to Arizona. Phyllis continued to raise her large family while never losing site of her goal, more education and teaching. In 1964, when the last child went to school, she took a position as a substitute teacher in the Washington Elementary School District where she began her 24-year tenure at Orangewood and Sunnyslope Elementary. Phyllis enrolled at Arizona State University part-time to earn a Bachelor of Education Degree and eventually completed a Master's Degree.

When she and George retired, they devoted their time to family and travelling, purchasing a summer home in Pinewood where they played golf and hosted many parties for relatives and friends. They visited Ireland, China, Canada, California, and sponsored a three day-cruise to Mexico for the extended relatives to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary.

It is often stated that you cannot have it all. But Phyllis did. She had a large family she raised and loved, a career as a teacher that gave her great fulfillment, and extended relatives and friends who valued her strength, abilities, and kindness. She will be sorely missed but the memory of her will remain as an example of a life well-lived.

Visitation will be at Hansen Chapel, 8314 N. 7th Street, Phoenix, from 6-8 P.M. on Thursday, March 31st, 2022. A requiem mass will be celebrated at St. Theresa's Catholic Church, 5045 E. Thomas Rd., Phoenix, at 10 A.M. on Friday, April 1, 2022. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Arizona Animal Welfare League, 25 N. 40th St., Phoenix, 85034 or St. Vincent de Paul's Charities, 420 W. Watkins Rd., Phoenix, 85003

For those that cannot attend please join us using the live stream link


Thu, Mar 31, 2022 at 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Hansen Chapel

8314 N 7th Street
Phoenix, AZ 85020

Get Directions
Requiem Mass
Fri, Apr 1, 2022 at 10:00 am
St. Theresa Parish

5045 E. Thomas Rd.
Phoenix, AZ 85251

Get Directions

Sign in to share your memory

We'll never post without your permission

or use your email

By adding a comment, you agree to the following privacy notice and conditions of use

Email Directions

Enter an email address below.
Please separate multiple emails with a coma.

Text Directions

Enter a mobile number below

Get Updates

Sign up to receive a notification daily whenever there is an update on this obituary.


Thank you for sharing!