Phyllis Y. Novotny, 73, of Batesland, S.D., passed away November 25, 2012 at Rapid City Regional Hospital. Phyllis was born September 30, 1939, in Winner, S.D. to Martin and Emelia (Weidman) Stolte. She was the sixth of eight children. Her family at that time lived in Mission. She attend Zion Lutheran School in Mission from first through eighth grade. In 1953, as a freshman, she attended High School in Mission. When she was a sophomore she went to school at Northwestern Lutheran Academy in Mobridge. Her family then moved to Martin and she attended Bennett County High School her junior and senior year and graduated in May 1957. After high school she worked as a waitress in Hot Springs, while living with her older sister Luella and brother-in-law Ted Krebs. She worked until she earned enough money to buy a bus ticket to go to Erlanger, Ky., which is a suburb of Cincinnati, Ohio. There she stayed with her oldest brother Lawrence and wife Myrtle Stolte. She worked as a waitress at the Cincinnati airport. She was working to earn enough money to go to business college. She then returned to Rapid City and attended National College of Business and graduated in nine months. While there she lived with her Aunt Margaret Brown and worked at a grocery store as a cashier-checker.
She met Johnny Novotny in 1956 while attending high school at Martin. After college she returned to Martin and began working at Lacreek Electric as a receptionist until 1961. She married John Novotny September 19, 1959 in Rushville, Neb. They had two children, David in 1961 and Julie in 1965. They have been married for 53 years.
Phyllis and John lived on the family farm with John’s mother and one brother east of Batesland, until January 1965 when they moved one mile east to the location of their farm where they live today.
Phyllis was a very happy and positive person. She enjoyed traveling. She and John have traveled to all 50 states, Mexico, Canada and the Bahamas. She loved to go fishing with her favorite purple worm and catch bass. She also enjoyed camping when they went fishing. She enjoyed time in her yard and garden. She was a member of the Wednesday afternoon senior bowling league. She was a member of St. Paul’s and Our Redeemer’s Ladies guild. She had different groups in Martin and Gordon that she liked to have coffee with and visit on a weekly basis. She loved to do puzzles and play games. She spent hours over the years playing cards and games and even ping pong with the grandkids. She taught them to play fair and not cheat. She usually won and Grandma never just “let you win.” She also played cards with groups around the community over the years when they had get togethers. She was a wonderful woman with a heart of gold, had many friends, and will truly be missed.
Survivors include her husband, John, Batesland; son, David (Martha) Novotny, Buffalo, Wyo.; daughter, Julie (Todd) Porch, Martin; sisters, Norma (Monroe) Johnson, Mountain Home, Ark., Carol (Bill) Sears, Grand Junction, Colo.; brother, Darrell (Jolene) Stolte, Plattsmouth, Neb.; eight grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews who were like children to her.
Phyllis was preceded in death by two infant daughters; her parents, Martin and Emelia Stolte; brother, Lawrence Stolte; sisters, Luella Krebs, LeeAnn Horton, and Dorothy Johnson; brothers-in-law, Ted Krebs, Dean Horton, and Van Johnson; and sister-in-law, Myrtle Stolte.
Services were held Friday, November 30, 2012 10 a.m., at the Bennett County Activities Center, Martin, with Pastor Michael Killinger officiating. Burial followed at 2 p.m. at the Gordon Cemetery.
Bennett County Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. Memorials may be sent to Bennett County Funeral Service, PO Box 65, Martin, S.D. 57551.