Our beloved mother, grandmother and aunt, Phyllis Johnson Stewart, passed away peacefully, surrounded by her family on October 14th, 2023 at the age of 95. Phyllis was born December 31, 1927 in Kanab, Utah to Joel Hills Johnson and Elizabeth Mace Johnson. She was fourth in a family of four girls and one younger brother, all deceased. She married Sherman Stewart in 1950, he passed away in 2002. She is survived by their four children, Georgia (Frederick) Hobusch, Joelyn Stewart (Tom Dillon), Keith Stewart, Rick (Laurie) Stewart, 7 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren.
In her early years, Phyllis spent her summers on the ranch in Johnson Canyon, helping herd cows. She graduated from Kanab High School where she was president of the pep club, a cheerleader, and participated in drama and chorus. Phyllis lived outside of Kanab only long enough to attend two years of college at what is now Southern Utah University, where she studied modern dance and earned an associate’s degree in Early Childhood Development. While she was raising her family, she worked at the front desk at the Parry Lodge and at Zion (Fenton’s) Drug where she befriended old and young.
She spent many years serving in various civic and church organizations. She was affiliated with the Ladies Literary League, Jayceettes, Boy Scouts, Relief Society, Ham Radio Club, Federated Women’s Club, Kanab Women’s Civic Club, the American Legion Auxiliary, Daughters of the Utah Pioneers, Kane County Hospital Board, Kanab Variety Arts Council, and Friends of the Library.
Phyllis enjoyed reading, listening to her Columbia Record Club albums, bird watching, planting flowers, tomatoes and purple potatoes, hiking, taking pictures, attending social events, exploring back roads with Sherman or anyone who would go with her, fishing, deer hunting with
her girlfriends and spending time with her family at the Alton cabin.
She went cross-country to leaf peep the eastern United States and four Canadian Provinces, and traveled to various Mexican destinations. She joined her daughters and two granddaughters on an all-women rafting trip down the Green River, went aloft in a hot air balloon, and rode the California Zephyr train from Denver to Salt Lake City. At age 90, her health deteriorated, and she made her new home at the Kane County Long Term Care Center where she became the senior resident.
Phyllis’s friendly smile and her willingness to engage in a conversation with anyone served her well. She was known for being upbeat and positive, always willing to trade a joke or smart remark.
She was a self-appointed, one woman advertising agency for the city of Kanab and Southern Utah. She never passed up an opportunity to enlighten visitors about the amazing wonder of God’s country in which she chose to live her life. She will be greatly missed by her family and all who knew and loved her. The family wishes to express our deep gratitude for the loving care she received from the incredible staff at the Long Term Care Center and hospice agency and also to everyone who provided voluntary and religious services to the residents there.
We appreciate all those who visited her, she loved to have people around her.
A viewing will be held Friday evening, October 20th, 6-7pm at the Kanab 5th Ward Chapel, 20 West Center Street. Funeral services will be held Saturday, October 21st, at 11am, preceded by an additional viewing from 9:30-10:30am. Internment will take place at the Kanab City Cemetery following the services.
You are invited to watch the services through the Zoom Link below: