The New Era - All about Sweet Home since 1929

Phyllis Hankins


January 3, 2017

April 20, 1925 – Dec. 27, 2016

Phyllis Ann Hankins, 91, of Sweet Home died Dec. 27, 2016 at her home.

She was born April 20, 1925 at home on a farm near Teresita, Mo. to Frank and Edith (Lemley) Pendleton.

She was raised in Teresita but spent one school year in Flippin, Ark., where her father, a bridge builder, was working. After graduating from high school she moved to Washington, D.C. and worked at the Pentagon. She then moved with her sister to Hanford, Wash., where her father was working and where she worked at the Hanford Site.

She returned to Missouri and worked as a teacher in a one-room schoolhouse near Koshkonong, Mo. in 1944 and 1945 (she had taken a teaching course in high school). There she met and married Sidney Hankins. She left teaching and she and Mr. Hankins worked at a munitions factory in the summer of 1945 as part of the war effort.

Their first son, Dennis, was born in September 1946 and when he was a toddler the three of them moved to Arizona, where Mr. Hankins continued his career as a logger and Mrs. Hankins continued her career as a homemaker and mother.

They lived in Maverick and Mormon Lake, Ariz. and Seboyeta, N.M. before returning to Missouri where their two other sons, Randy and Jack, were born. Phyllis and Sidney both accepted Christ as their savior and were baptized during that time. When Jack was 10 months old they moved to Sweet Home.

While Mr. Hankins continued his career as a logger in Sweet Home, Mrs. Hankins began working at the Langmack Hospital as a secretary. She sold Tupperware in the early ‘60s before going back to work as a medical secretary and office manager for Dr. Monson. She later worked in the same capacity for Dr. Baier.

Mrs. Hankins worked for the State of Oregon for a couple of years before moving back to Missouri to take care of her father. While back in Missouri she worked as the postmaster in Teresita and as a substitute school teacher. After a couple of years back on the farm, the Hankinses moved back to Sweet Home and brought her father with them.

Mrs. Hankins had been active in church work before moving back to Missouri and continued her church work when she returned to Sweet Home. She worked in the church as a Sunday School teacher, Bible School director, Sunday School director and pianist.

She loved learning the Scriptures and helping others learn about them too. She loved music and loved to make music. In the mid-’70s, Mrs. Hankins found a new occupation: as a grandmother.

She loved the grandkids and she and Mr. Hankins enjoyed taking them on outings and camping trips. Mrs. Hankins enjoyed playing dominos with her friends. She liked to sew and make quilts. She was also passionate about writing and wrote many short stories based on her life experiences. She belonged to a writers club for many years and had a few of her stories published.

Her first great-grandchild was born in 2000 and by 2003 she had three great-grandchildren. At the time of her death she had 13.

In her later years she enjoyed doing word puzzles, watching “Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy” and she always enjoyed a good western (novel, TV show or movie). Most of all, she enjoyed and loved her family very much.

Mrs. Hankins is survived by her sons, Dennis and daughter-in-law Ellen Hankins, Randy and daughter-in-law Linda Hankins, and Jack Hankins; four grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; brothers Marion “Buster” Pendleton of Springfield, Mo., and Roy Pendleton of Comanche, Iowa; and many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Sidney Hankins; mother Edith Pendleton; father Frank Pendleton; brothers Frank Pendleton and Dick Pendleton; and sisters Gladys Keller and Dorothy “Punkie” Martin.

Funeral services were held Jan. 3 at Sweet Home Mennonite Church, with final burial at Gilli-land Cemetery.

Sweet Home Funeral Chapel is handling the arrangements.


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