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Phyllis L. Hagerbaumer, 86, just missed her 87th birthday when she died on Sunday, February 12, 2012, at West Florida Hospital in Pensacola, FL, where she lived at the Azalea Trace Retirement Community.
Phyllis was born on February 16, 1925, the daughter of Erwin and Lanorah (Oliphant) Lanning, in Alburnett, Iowa, near Cedar Rapids, where she grew up on the family farm. In 1942 she graduated from Marion High School along with her cousin Wayne Stephenson, who was raised like a brother in the Lanning home. She went on to graduate from the Draughon Business College of Springfield, MO, and while a secretary for LaPlante-Choate Mfg in Cedar Rapids she became their advertising model. During WWII she studied nursing as a cadet at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, and after the war learned to fly receiving her pilot's license. Phyllis moved to Chicago, IL, with her cousin, Freda Mae Oliphant, where she worked at the Drake Hotel for Hickey Brothers Cigars and then transferred to Washington, DC, to work at the exclusive Willard Hotel. She later was an executive secretary for Miss Gilbert at an insurance company and Randall Hagner Realty in DC. Phyllis returned to the University of Iowa majoring in English Lit. (honors) and worked as secretary in the Chemical Engineering Dept. where she met her future husband who was working on his Ph.D. Phyllis married Donald H. Hagerbaumer on April 9, 1952, at the Methodist Church in Marion, Iowa. Phyllis became a homemaker raising two children while Dr. Donald H. Hagerbaumer worked as a chemical engineer and then Technical Liaison with the textile division of Monsanto (formerly Chemstrand). They moved to Wilmington, DE for two years and then to Decatur AL. In 1960 they were sent to Geneva, Switzerland for three years. They returned to Stamford, CT for two years where Donald commuted to New York City's Empire State Bldg. In 1965 they were relocated to Leicester, England for two years and then to Brussels, Belgium, where they lived until 1976, and finally returning to Pensacola, FL, with Monsanto until retirement. While overseas Phyllis pursued her many interests in the European arts, history, culture, antiques and was active in the various women's clubs, raising her family, and running the household while her husband traveled extensively. She was a member of the Trinity Presbyterian Church in Pensacola, FL.
Phyllis was a kind and loving mother and wife, a beautiful lady whose infectious smile and great sense of humor made her friends wherever she went. She inspired her grandchildren to enjoy reading books and took them to many cultural events. She will be greatly missed by family and friends.
She is survived by her son, Kurt D. Hagerbaumer of Pensacola, FL; daughter, Ann Hagerbaumer-Steffel (Jim), grand-daughters Charlene and Natalie Steffel of Hamburg, PA; cousin Wayne Stephenson of Clayton, CA; nephews Rod Jiruska, David (Donna) Jiruska, both of Cedar Rapids, IA and Dan Jiruska of Parker, CO. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Donald; her sister Jeanne C. (Lanning) Jiruska and husband Ray.
SERVICE: A Memorial Service will be held at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, February 18, 2012, at the Trinity Presbyterian Church, 3400 Bayou Blvd, Pensacola, FL 32503, Tel. (850) 432-3505, conducted by Rev. Dr. Hugh Hamilton with organist Margie Sanders. A reception at the church will immediately follow. Burial will be at the Greenmount Cemetery in Quincy, IL alongside her husband.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Escambia County Special Olympics, 201 E Lloyd St, Pensacola FL 32503; World Wildlife Fund, 1250 24th Street NW, PO Box 97180, Washington DC 20090-7180; or Trinity Presbyterian Church, 3400 Bayou Blvd, Pensacola FL 32503.
Arrangements will be handled by Harper-Morris Memorial Chapel in Pensacola FL. Condolences may also be shared at HarperMorrisMemorialChapel.com.
A special thanks to the caring staff at Azalea Trace and Nursefinders.
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Published in Pensacola News Journal on Feb. 17, 2012