Phyllis Van Eaton, 90, Lawrence, KS, passed away peacefully at Brandon Woods Retirement Community on March 23, 2013. Memorial services will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday April 13, 2013, at Warren-McElwain Mortuary, 120 W. 13th Street in Lawrence, KS. Private inurnment will be at a later date at Mt. Hope Cemetery in Topeka, KS.
Phyllis Anne was born to Safford D. and Anne P. (Crane) Thacher on June 4, 1922, in Topeka, KS, the second of three children.
She graduated from Topeka High School in 1940 and attended Washburn for a year.
Phyllis married William A. Webber on May 29, 1941. They welcomed a daughter in 1942 and enjoyed a few happy years before he was killed in action in 1945 during the last months of World War II. On July 2, 1949, Phyllis married William M. Drumm, an attorney from Seneca, KS. They made their home in Seneca until his death in May of 1987. Phyllis moved to Lawrence in 1989 to be near her daughter and grandchildren. She married her lifelong friend, John T. Van Eaton, on February 23, 1993. They lived in Lawrence and enjoyed numerous road trips and cruises.
Phyllis was a member of Alpha Kappa chapter of Delta Gamma, Order of Eastern Star, and Chapter CW of P.E.O. In her youth, she enjoyed dancing to the music of the Big Band Era and excelled in swimming, tennis, golf, and bowling. She enjoyed playing the piano and singing in church choirs. She was a Girl Scout leader for several years. She was an avid bridge player and belonged to two bridge clubs in Seneca for many years. Phyllis was a legal secretary, working for a law firm in Topeka in the 1940’s and later in her husband’s law practice in Seneca.
Phyllis is survived by her husband, John T. Van Eaton, Lawrence; her sister, Betty Jean Smith, Goddard; her daughter, Judy Webber Hathaway (Larry), Lawrence; grandchildren Anne M. Underwood (John), Baldwin City, Sarah E. Taitt (Anson), Shawnee, and Richard A. Benjes, Jr. (Christina), Olathe; seven great-grandchildren; sisters-in-law, Vera Kiewit, Lenexa and Donna Drumm, Topeka; and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins. She was preceded in death by her brother, Frank E. Thacher. Phyllis was devoted to her family and kept up with the birthdays and activities of all of her extended family until recently.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, Shriners Hospitals for Children, Theatre Lawrence, Seneca Free Library, or the charitable organization of your choice and be sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary.