Phyllis Ann Helvey

May 6, 1927 ~ April 6, 2019 (age 91)

Phyllis Ann (Leeseberg) Helvey, 91, of Kansas City, Missouri, passed away on Saturday, April 6, 2019 surrounded by her loved ones at home.


Phyllis was the third of six children, born on May 6, 1927, to William H. and Anna M. (Reitter) Leeseberg of Nevis, Minnesota. In 1945, she graduated from Akeley High School in Akeley, Minnesota. After graduating she went to live with an aunt in Oklahoma where she earned a Business Education degree from Oklahoma A&M (Oklahoma State). She taught business education in Reading, KS, Smithville, MO, and Plainview, MN. On May 31, 1952, Phyllis married Robert J. Helvey of Smithville, MO and they had two daughters. She was a charter member of King of Kings Lutheran Church in Kansas City, North. Her church family was very special to her, with many treasured friendships over the years.


Most of her work career, from 1969-90, was at Maple Woods Community College in the library and learning center. She worked with two special people, Karen Graham and Elisabeth Wynn, who have remained wonderful friends since her retirement.


She was an avid reader and also enjoyed being outside working in her yard and garden, planting beautiful flowers and vegetables, especially her favorite – tomatoes. She spent a lot of time up in Northern Minnesota at their cabin with her husband, daughters, and sister Mary. The cabin was next to the original Leeseberg farm, where she grew up. Her brother, Richard and wife Kathleen, continued the tradition. She loved visiting them and their family at the farm. She also loved picking wild blueberries, raspberries, and choke cherries with her sister, Mary in Minnesota. In recent years, she enjoyed the friendships she made while playing Bunko as well as watching the Kansas City Royals – especially a certain All-Star Catcher!


Phyllis is preceded in death by her parents; husband of 65 years, Robert; brothers, William G. Leeseberg and Richard Leeseberg; sisters, Mary Damick and Virgina Lipe.


She is survived by her daughters, Lisa Helvey and Susan Helvey of Smithville, MO; sister, Elizabeth Jenkins of Carson City, NV; sister-in-law, Kathleen Leeseberg of Nevis, MN, Nancy Leeseberg of Park Rapids, MN and Anna Deloris Moreland of Smithville-Kearney, MO. She remained very close to her nephew, Ralph Sanquist and wife Shari of Park Rapids, MN; as well as many other nieces, nephews, and wonderful neighbors whom she dearly loved.


A visitation will be held at King of Kings Lutheran Church (1701 N.E. 96th Street, Kansas City, MO 64155) on Friday, April 12, 2019 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., with the funeral service at 11:00 a.m. and burial immediately following at Terrace Park Cemetery (801 NW 108th Street, Kansas City, MO 64155). In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be given to King of Kings Lutheran Church.


Phyllis’s family would like to express their sincere appreciation to St. Luke’s Hospice for the wonderful care and compassion they have provided.


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