PEORIA - Phyllis E. Merrill, 79, of Peoria passed away Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014, at her residence, with her family at her side.
She was born Nov. 29, 1934, in Peoria, Ill., the daughter of Henry and Esther (Segal) Billerbeck. She married Lyle E. (Gene) Merrill on Aug. 31, 1952, in Indiana. He preceded her in death on June 13, 2011.
Surviving are her children, Kathy (Steve) Roehm of Dunlap, Jan (Ted) Mulally of Chillicothe, Scott (Susie) Merrill of Peoria, Tim (Diane) Merrill of Plover, Wis., Chris (Kelli) Merrill of Normal and John (Stacy) Merrill of Lutz, Fla.; 20 grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren. Also surviving is one brother, Ronald (Joan) Billerbeck of Peoria.
She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, one brother and one sister.
Phyllis graduated from Woodruff High School. She was a member of Peoria Heights Congregational Church and also Birchwood Methodist Church, which she and her husband attended while in Wisconsin during the summer months.
Phyllis was a homemaker. She was the best mom, sister, grandmother and great-grandmother. She was a beautiful woman inside and out, and everyone who met her marveled at her gorgeous blue eyes. She was a wonderful cook and was known for the beautiful specialty and wedding cakes she made.
She played golf in the Morning Glories and the American Cancer leagues. Phyllis always wanted to learn to play bridge, so two years ago, she took lessons at ICC. She became an avid bridge player and enjoyed her days playing cards with "the Bridge Ladies." She also played pinochle once a month with high school friends that spanned over 50 years. She loved watching "Jeopardy!" and "Wheel of Fortune."
Cremation rites will be accorded, and a celebration of Phyllis' life will be held on June 13, 2014, at 11 a.m. at Weber-Hurd Funeral Home in Chillicothe. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service. Pastor Dwight Winnett of Hospice Compassus will be presiding over the ceremony. Private interment will be at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Hospice Compassus, 2000 W. Pioneer Parkway, Suite 24, Peoria, IL 61615.
Online condolences may be made to the family at www.hurdfamilyfunerals.com.