MASON CITY: Ruth Phyllis H. Seymour, 98, of Mason City, died Monday, December 8, 2008 at the Good Shepherd Health Center. Funeral services will be held at 1PM Saturday, December 12, 2008 at the First United Methodist Church, 119 S. Georgia, with Rev. Jim Stiles officiating. Inurnment will be at the Wapello Cemetery in Wapello, IA at a later date. Visitation will be from 4:00 to 6:00 PM on Friday at Major Erickson Funeral Home, 111 N. Pennsylvania Avenue.
Phyllis was born June 24, 1910, in Wapello, IA to Albert and Minnie (Weber) Heiens. She graduated from Wapello High School, and then attended Iowa State University where she obtained her B.S. Degree in Food and Nutrition in 1932. While there, she was an active member of the Delta Zeta sorority.
Always a teacher in one way or another, she taught Home Economics in Climbing Hill and Bayard, Iowa before going to work as an Extension Home Economist for Iowa State University in Mille, Fremont, and West Pottawattamie Counties early in her career and later in Cerro Gordo and Floyd counties. Phyllis returned to the public school system teaching Home Economics at Nora Springs High School.
Phyllis married Byron H. Seymour in 1938, eloping to St. Louis, MO. Together they lived in Climbing Hill, Fonda, and Humboldt where Byron taught before moving to Mason City in 1947. She was a partner with her husband in Seymour Photo Store on North Federal Avenue from the late 1950s to 1965. She then returned to the Extension Service until her retirement in 1976.
During the years she was raising her children, she held offices in P.T.A. and American Association of University Women, developed the home economics program for the new Mason City High School, and led the campaign for the construction of John Adams Junior High. She served on the committee that started Meals on Wheels in Mason City. Many summers were spent traveling to county fairs, judging everything from pies to photography and 4-H projects. In recent years she enjoyed volunteering as a docent at the Frank Lloyd Wright Stockman House. Phyllis shared considerable skills and energy with several organizations including A.A.U.W., Wa Tan Ye, Chataqua Club, P.E.O. Chapter IW, the first United Methodist Church, and Home Economics Graduates Club. She was an enthusiastic potter, photographer, collector of antiques, gardener, reader, knitter, and an excellent cook.
Phyllis is survived by her three children: Susan (Jerry) Currie of Mason City, Steven (Vicki) of Portland, OR, Kathleen (Greg) Stein of Chandler, AZ; a sister, Miriam (Bet) Vickers of Des Moines, IA; grandchildren, Jill (Dail) Fellin of Dakota City, NE, Erin (Pat) Thompson of Mason City, Jeff (Tara) of Sister, OR, Todd Seymour of Denver, CO; and twelve great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, sister Helen Eversmeyer and Margaret Parish and daughter-in-law Charlotte Seymour.