Cover photo for Phyllis Ann (Spanhook) Bergfield's Obituary
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Phyllis Ann (Spanhook) Bergfield

October 31, 1932 — May 10, 2024

Phyllis Ann (Spanhook) Bergfield

Phyllis Ann Spanhook of Arcola was born on a rainy Halloween night in 1932 while the wild geese landed in the yard. Because of her birthdate, she liked to call herself an old witch, but she was one of the most loving, selfless people you could ever hope to know. She went to Heaven on Friday, May 10th at 2:02 pm at Eberhardt Village in Arthur. 

Phyllis was the daughter of Fred and Irene (Haney) Spanhook, and she had two much older brothers, whom she laughingly recalled used to take her on their dates with them when she was young. Her parents as well as her brothers, Wallace and Maurice, preceded her in death. 

As a teenager, Phyllis gained the nickname “Flip.” Her years as an Arcola High School student in the late forties provided some of the sweetest memories of her life. She loved going to Lester’s after school and drinking Green Rivers for a dime, alongside a five-cent hot dog. She enjoyed roller skating and going to movies. More than anything, Flip loved to dance. She would dance to any music but preferred Glenn Miller and his orchestra. 

She was a 1950 graduate of AHS. The messages in her senior yearbook show that so many classmates thought she was a “swell kid.” She won the American Legion award and was a member of glee club, despite a lifelong insistence that she could not sing. Phyllis wanted to go to college and study science; she hoped to find a cure for cancer. 

The week after Phyllis turned eighteen (because she wanted to be able to sign the marriage license for herself), she married Lloyd Eugene Bergfield. They were two months shy of their seventieth wedding anniversary when Lloyd passed in 2020. Phyllis clearly had a preference for handsome baseball players, as evidenced by her long marriage to Bergy and her love for Kris Bryant of the 2016 world champion Chicago Cubs. 

Phyllis and Lloyd had three children: Ebby Lloyd of Arcola, Donald Dale (Ana Polanco) of Bellflower, and Amy Kay of Heaven. Phyllis shared so many fond memories of the years when her children were young. As her sons still reside in central Illinois, they did so much to care for both their parents throughout the years. Amy preceded Phyllis in death in 2001 but is now happily reunited with her mom. 

Phyllis once shared on her Facebook page that her years as a grandmother were some of the best of her life. Her grandchildren are Don’s three children, Tyler Bergfield, Crystal Bergfield, and Lee (Jennifer) Bergfield, and Breanne Reinhard, Amy’s daughter. At one point or another, all of her grandchildren either lived with their grandparents or at least visited for extended periods, showing that Phyllis’s house was truly home for her whole family.

Over the last fourteen years, Phyllis cherished being a great-grandmother to Bre’s daughter, Bella Aeslynn; Lee’s children, Lena Lenora Dorothea Bergfield, Logan Ellis Bergfield, and Aunaca Moriah Wickware; and Crystal’s son, Omadeus Nabil. The joy on Phyllis’s face when she spent time with them, or even looked at pictures and heard stories, was clear and true. 

In the 1970s, after all her children were in high school, Phyllis went to work. First, she worked for the Arcola Record-Herald, doing graphic design for the ads she would later sell, despite her protests that she was not a graphic artist. In 1990, she journeyed down Route 133 and spent a decade at the Arthur Graphic-Clarion. Finally, she returned to her Arcola roots and came back to the Record-Herald where she worked, despite a brief and unsuccessful try at retirement from 2005 to 2007, until she turned eighty. During that time, she wrote her column This ‘n’ That, Now ‘n’ Then; along with her love of her family and her commitment to the Lord, this column was one of the things that made Phyllis feel the most proud. She had a way with words, and her writing sounded exactly like her voice when she talked to you. 

Flip’s favorite color may have changed every year, but her other interests did not. She loved Jesus and the Arcola Free Methodist Church. She gave so much of herself to the church over the years, as she, in her words, did about every job there was: teaching Sunday school, playing piano, writing the Christmas programs for the children, and serving as a delegate to the conference. She enjoyed watching game shows like Jeopardy and tried to never miss the Lawrence Welk Show reruns on Saturday evenings. Phyllis also loved sports, but she was quick to clarify that she enjoyed them as a spectator, not an athlete. Her favorites were Cubs baseball, Illini basketball, and Justin Allgaier racing. Throughout her entire life, she loved watching her children, grandchildren, and great-grandkids in their numerous sports and activities. A notable highlight was the $5 “pay to play” scheme that Phyllis spearheaded at the 2004 LOVC scholastic bowl conference tournament. (Arcola won.) 

She never made it to Alaska like she’d always wanted, but the Northern Lights did light up the sky in Arcola on the night she went to Heaven. 

Our family appreciates all the warm wishes and happy memories you have already shared. We will miss her forever but take endless comfort in the joyful reunion with her beloved Amy. 

We will be celebrating Phyllis’s life on Tuesday, May 14 at Edwards Funeral Home. The visitation will begin at 2 p.m. with a service to follow at 3 p.m. Pastor Bill Ramsey of the Arcola Free Methodist Church will officiate. 

Memorials may be made to the Arcola Free Methodist Church. 

 

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