Phyllis Lighty Westerman

Honored by:J.D. Beatty
Brick location:C:17  map


It is a joy to celebrate the life of Phyllis Lighty Westerman (1926-1993), a life that she chose to define through her family: husband Robert; daughters Jan (Beatty), Susan (Bozek), Dee (Van Gundy), and Patti (Van Skike); and grandchildren Heather Bozek, Jamie Bozek, Stephani Bozek, Nicholas Van Gundy, Jason Van Gundy, Amy Van Skike, and Laura Van Skike.


Phyllis nurtured people all her life. She trained as a nurse during World War II and worked in doctors' offices until her first daughter was born in 1950.  When she had raised her four daughters, she turned her devotion to her grandchildren, and to her parents when their health failed.  She loved being part of the rich, strong fabric of Iowa small-town life, especially enjoying church activities.


Phyllis lived nearly her entire life in Rockwell City, where she created a home full of love and support that encouraged her husband and daughters to soar. Robert became a successful businessman, serving as president of a family company comprised of five lumberyards. Jan, Susan, Dee and Patti all have earned bachelor's degrees. Susan and Jan have earned master's degrees, and Jan has completed a Ph.D. Phyllis drew great joy from the happiness and successes of those she loved. She most highly treasured those times when her entire family gathered.


The path of Phyllis' life was not always smooth. Any woman who commits to a marriage and helps raise four daughters encounters rough places in life's path, but Phyllis encountered special challenges. Her faith and her love for her family sustained her through three crises: a long recovery from serious injuries sustained in a car accident at age 26; the loss of husband, Robert, when both were only aged 54; and

an extended battle with breast cancer that eventually took her life. Phyllis' greatest gifts to her daughters and grandchildren are her persistence, her faith, and her belief in the importance of family.