Obituary: Phyllus E. (Wilson) Groves

Phyllus Elaine (Wilson) Groves, 88, died Tuesday, August 1, 2017, at Pine Crest Village in Sturgeon Bay, following a short battle with lung cancer. She was born September 3, 1928, in Elgin, Illinois, to Sidney H. and Nellie M. (Bell) Wilson. Phyllus married James H. Groves on October 5, 1946 at House of Hope Presbyterian Church in Elgin. Jim preceded her in death on March 29, 2016.

Phyl and Jim lived in Elgin, Illinois until 2006, when they moved to Watertown, Wisconsin, to live near their daughter. In September, 2015, they moved to their beloved Door County, where they had spent family vacations since the 1940s. They also enjoyed spending several winters in Naples and Lake Worth, Florida. Phyllus hated to cook, but was a great hostess; loved to golf and bowl; and played in the same card club for 60 years. She graduated from Elgin High School in 1946, then worked at the Elgin Watch Factory and, for one day only, at Bloom’s Restaurant, where her first customers waited a long time for lunch—Phyl delivered their salads, then walked out the back door, never to return! She was a professional corsetiere, training in Chicago and working in the foundations departments of both Ackemann’s and Spiess Department stores in Elgin.

Phyllus is survived by a daughter, Deborah K. (Michael) Olesen of Sturgeon Bay; a son, Steven J. Groves of Elgin; a granddaughter, Stephanie K. (Matthew) Olesen-Bute of San Jose, California; a sister-in-law, Iris Groves of Streamwood; a brother-in-law, Ralph Thieman of The Villages, Florida; and several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband, her parents, and her sister, Nan Jean Thieman.

A memorial service celebrating Phyllus’ life was held Saturday, August 12, 2017, at Pine Crest Village in Sturgeon Bay with Rev. Richard Feyen, of Hope Church, officiating.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to either Unity Hospice or the Door County YMCA.

     The family would like to thank Unity Hospice for their excellent care; and the staff at Pinecrest Village for their special, compassionate care. (Thanks so much, Katie for the butterfly “tattoo.” Mom loved it, and as she said, “You gave me my wings”). Thanks to the Y Rats for their e-mails and visits, and a huge thank you to Lynn for her endless support and who, Mom said, “put a wiggle in my jiggle!” Friends are a wonderful thing.

Huehns Funeral Home & Cremation Services in Sturgeon Bay is assisting with arrangements. Expressions of sympathy, memories, and photos of Phyllus may be shared with her family through her tribute page at

Article Comments