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Phyllis June Bernhardt-Hilts


October 4, 2018

Phyllis Hilts

Phyllis June Bernhardt-Hilts passed away at Providence Hospital, in Everett, Washington, on September 9, 2018 at the age of 102 years old.

Phyllis was born in Warner, Alberta on June 30, 1916 to Effie and Charlie Sheets of Audubon, Iowa. Phyllis was raised in Great Falls, Montana, where she was a graduate of Great Falls High School. Phyllis Hagen excelled as a senior leader in the Girl Scouts of America and the Rainbow order. Phyllis enjoyed spending many hours working for her step father, Carl O Hagen, at the Victory supermarket in Great Falls.

At the age of 23, she married Sam Bernhardt Jr. from Great Falls, who was a Navy corpsman stationed in Honolulu in 1938. She gave birth to two children: Sam Bernhardt (Thompson Falls, Montana) and Sharon (Shari) Bernhardt (Arlington, Washington).

Being a Navy wife living through two wars, raising two children and working as a baker and cake decorator meant she was very resourceful and inspirational. She received numerous awards for creating multi level wedding cakes. Phyllis spent most of her life, after her husband retired from the Navy, living and working in Seattle as a baker and decorator for Safeway stores. She also served as a Past Matron of the Eastern Star.

After her husband Sam died in 1965 she retired and in 1975 moved to Sun City, Arizona. That is where she married Bob Hilts in 1984 (formerly of Great Falls) who unfortunately passed in 1991. She spent many great summers in Thompson Falls and winters in Sun City until 2013. Her true passion was bowling. And continued bowling until the age of 98 years old. She spent her spare time creating stain glass windows and decorating cakes for friends and customers. In 2014 she said goodbye to all her friends in Sun City and moved to Everett, to be near her daughter Sharon.

Phyllis is survived by her two children, four step children, four grandkids, five great-grandchildren and many more relatives scattered across Alberta, British Columbia, Montana, California, Iowa and Minnesota. Her ashes will return to Montana and be placed near her beloved dog, Scooter, at Rocky Point Ranch in Thompson Falls. In lieu of flowers please donate to the animal rescue of your choice.


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