Helping Families and Friends Honor Their Loved One

Phyllis (Phyl) Reyburn Wallis


Phyllis (Phyl) Reyburn Wallis, age 91, passed away on January 2, 2021 at the home of her daughter in Oxford, North Carolina.

She was born in Kent County Michigan to the late George Clare Reyburn and Bernice Margaruite Ransom. Phyllis graduated from Butterworth Nursing School, Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1950. She was a dedicated Registered Nurse who spent over 40 years as an obstetrical nurse at Gerber Memorial Hospital in Fremont, Michigan. She cared for so many mothers, babies and families over those years that she was lovingly called “Mother Wallis.” She was a woman of faith, who was active in three Methodist churches as she moved from Fremont, to Zephyrhills, Florida and then to Holland, Michigan.

She will be greatly missed by her surviving children, daughters Kathy Austin (Mike Boston) formerly of Holland, Michigan, Lori Williford (Rob) of Oxford, North Carolina and son Dan Wallis formerly of Boulder, Colorado; five grandchildren Adam (Angie) Austin of Raleigh, NC, Michael (Alicia) Austin of Brookfield, Illinois, Kathyrn (Richard) Cook of Wilmington, NC, Lindsey Williford of Wilmington, NC and Kyle Wallis (girlfriend Laura) of Helsinki, Finland; six great-grandchildren, Jack and Reese Austin, TJ and Michael Austin, and Charlotte and Preston Cook; one sister-in-law Arlene Wallis, of Hart, Michigan. She also leaves many special nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. She was preceded in death by high school sweetheart and husband of 54 years, Robert (Bob) Wallis; her dear sister, Barbara Harlow and her son-in law Tom Austin.

It is anticipated that a memorial service will be held in Fremont, Michigan this spring or summer.

In lieu of flowers, those who wish may make donations to either Hospice of Holland, 270 Hoover Blvd., Holland, MI 49423 or Amedisys Hospice, 3320 US 1 Highway, Suite B, Franklinton, NC 27525.


  • Joan & Bob Jansma Posted January 4, 2021 11:20 pm

    We were neighbors of Bob and Phil on 64th St. great couple I enjoyed them so much our dog would go over and see Bob every day and Bob always had a treat we visited them several times in Florida and she always enjoyed our raspberry jam we sent south with them every year. They were such a great couple we enjoyed their visit so much you are so blessed to have her for so long hugs to all of you hugs

    • Katlhleen Austin Posted January 6, 2021 7:43 pm

      Thank you so much for sharing

    • Lori Wallis Williford Posted January 7, 2021 1:02 am

      Thank you so much for your lovely comments. Taking the time to do so and honor my parents means so much!

  • Lois Millis Folkema Posted January 5, 2021 12:11 am

    Kathy and family, So sorry to hear about your Mom’s Passing. Our deepest sympathy. May all your memories bring you comfort at this difficult time.

    • Katlhleen Austin Posted January 6, 2021 7:43 pm

      Thank you Lois

      • Lori Wallis Williford Posted January 7, 2021 1:03 am

        Yes, thank you!

  • Bill Hamilton Posted January 5, 2021 12:25 am

    Both Phyllis and Bob were special friends of my parents, Max & Aletta Hamilton, and were friends of my siblings and myself. I would like to affirmed the entire Hamilton family is very sad to hear of Phyllis’s death. She and her entire family, (Bob and the 3 children), have all been very honorable people. Bob and Phyl did a fantastic job being great parents in raising them – perhaps the best thing a person can accomplish!

  • Katlhleen Austin Posted January 6, 2021 7:44 pm

    And as you know, Bill, Dad and Mom adored your mom and dad and loved hearing about their family. Thank you for the lovely note.

  • David Blauw Posted January 7, 2021 2:14 pm

    Kathy and Mike,
    It was such a pleasure to get to know your mom while admitted to Holland Hospital. I experienced her competence and gentle-heartedness. I also experienced your steady and loving steps to care for and honor your mom at every turn. Peace and strength in these days of loss. And Mike we miss your presence volunteering at Holland Hospital. You’ve all “gone the distance” and I pray for rest and comfort – from above – at this time. Christmas season reminds us that The Prince of Peace has arrived.

    • Kathy Austin Posted January 13, 2021 9:05 pm

      Thank you so much, David. Your team and you at Holland Hospital gave our mother some peace and definitely healing during her unfortunately rather frequent visits over the last 5 years. One special memory is the harpist playing mom’s favorite hymns in her hospital room.

  • Arlene Wallis Posted January 7, 2021 2:26 pm

    Dear Kathy, Lori, Dan and families, I’m so sorry to hear about Phyllis passing away. I send you my thoughts and prayers. I love you, Aunt Arlene

    • Kathy Austin Posted January 13, 2021 9:06 pm

      Thank you so much Aunt Arlene. She loved you so, too!

  • Dick and Ruby (Wallis) Boyd Posted January 7, 2021 2:40 pm

    Kathy, Lori, and Dan, As your cousin, I have such fond memories of you and your mom. Aunt Phyllis was an inspiration for me going into nursing. She was so soft spoken, caring, and full of love. I love her picture- just as I remember her always smiling. We will miss her. Dick and Ruby

    • Kathy Austin Posted January 13, 2021 9:08 pm

      Ruby, her love of nursing influenced may of us and is certainly part of her legacy. Thank you so much for sharing this.

  • Wilma & Ed Prince Posted January 7, 2021 4:00 pm

    We miss Phyliss’s wonderful smile. We were neighbors here on second floor at Appledorn. We are thinking of your families.

    • Kathy Austin Posted January 13, 2021 9:08 pm

      Thank you so much. Mom loved living at Appledorn and making new friends.

  • Martha Kallenbach Posted January 8, 2021 12:23 am

    Kathy, Lori and Dan,
    We are sending you all of our love and hugs. Your mom was very dear to us as is your whole family. You are in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. Love to you all. Bert, Anne and Martha.

    • Kathy Austin Posted January 13, 2021 9:10 pm

      What special friends the Vermeulens and Wallis’s were! I am so glad mom could visit you, Bert, a couple of times after she moved back to Michigan and you were always in her heart.

  • Craig, Kathy & Tegan Broome Posted January 10, 2021 2:56 am

    We offer our sincere condolences and want to share two vivid and happy memories regarding Phyllis. Almost 35 years ago, after taking her sweet time, our daughter Tegan met us for the first Gerber Hospital in Fremont, Michigan on Easter Sunday. We’ll always remember Phyllis working two shifts during Kathy’s long labor and her big smile for us when she arrived saying, “Are you still here”? In truth, Phyllis took a confident, “take charge” approach, which was exactly what we needed. We”ll always remember her help and support. Another happy memory involves Phyllis and the great fun we had with her during the wedding reception of Michael and Alicia Austin. She had a ball that night (and we have the pictures to prove it)! We’re thinking of all of you and hope you are finding solace in knowing that Phyllis had a well-lived and meaningful life. Love, Craig, Kathy & Tegan Broome

  • Kathy Austin Posted January 13, 2021 9:14 pm

    Craig and Kathy, I will always treasure the picture of mom and Tegan at the hospital when she was born. To us, she was little but strong in everything she did and yes, she loved to have fun! Thank you so much for sharing your stories . . .made me smile.

  • Kathy and Roger DeKuiper Posted January 14, 2021 4:45 pm

    My Mother and Father knew your Mom and Dad (and Clare and Bernice) as they were all from Kent City. I remember both Phyllis and Bob for their kindness and compassion they showed to others. Our sympathy and hope that you will find comfort in the days to come.
    Kathy and Roger DeKuiper

    • Kathy Austin Posted February 22, 2021 4:17 pm

      Kathy, I remember visiting your grandparents in Kent City when I was growing up. It has been a tough year for your family too with the tragic loss of Bill. Thank you for your sympathy and remembrance of mom.

  • Jerrie Rudd Breen Posted January 22, 2021 5:31 pm

    Kathy, Lori and Dan, Your mother and I met for the first time in the swimming pool in Spanish Springs. We became friends very soon. I marveled at your mother’s energy and willingness to help out whenever and wherever she could. After heart surgery most people would slow down, but not Phyl! She was a beautiful lady through and through. I am so happy that we had a long phone conversation just a couple months before she passed. I treasure that memory.. My sympathy to the entire family.

  • Kathy Austin Posted February 22, 2021 4:19 pm

    She enjoyed your friendship and loved her second home in Florida. We are so glad that you got to talk before she died. Yes, she was a wonderful mother and mentor and we miss her. Thank you for your sympathy. Kathy

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