Phyllis Louise Santini, 89

Phyllis Louise SantiniPhyllis Louise Santini (nee Francois), 89, a retired West Bend West High School English teacher, died Jan. 8, 2015, with family beside her.

A long-time resident of West Bend, Phyllis moved to Serenity Villa assisted living in Slinger four years ago with her husband, Louis Santini.

Phyllis Louise Santini (nee Francois) was born Aug. 28, 1925, at home in Big Bay, Michigan, a tiny hamlet near Marquette. Her father, Joseph Francois, worked at the lumber mill in Big Bay and eventually became superintendent of lumber operations for the Ford Motor Co. in the Upper Peninsula. Her mother, Gladys Elizabeth Vande Zande Francois, became a writer as a widow.

After graduating from L’Anse High School in 1943, Phyllis attended St. Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana, for two years. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 1972 and completed course work for a master’s degree. She also taught fifth grade at Holy Angels School.

As a child Phyllis, spent many happy hours at Lake Superior and enjoyed swimming her entire life. A soprano, she sang in church choirs, acted in several plays and directed a musical at the high school. She often socialized with family members and doted on her grandchildren. She particularly loved dancing in general, and specifically, with nieces, nephews, and grandchildren to the music of ABBA. Survivors include Phyllis’ husband of nearly 60 years, Louis; two daughters, Maureen Santini of West Bend and Kathleen Lighthizer of Allenton, and a son, Louis P. Santini of West Bend.

Also surviving are Louis P. Santini’s wife, Carol Roberts Santini, and their children Melanie and Jake; and Kathleen’s husband, Michael Lighthizer, their children Brian and Adam, and Brian’s wife Jaclynn and their children Taylor and Cole.

Surviving siblings are Ken Francois of Cedarburg, his wife Ella; JoAnn Francois Michaud of Iron Mountain; Richard Francois of L’Anse; and Linda Francois Bastian and her husband Jon, of Fond du Lac, as well as several nieces and nephews.

Phyllis was predeceased by a son, Tony, who died in 1977; her father, who died in 1953; her mother, who died in Iron Mountain, Michigan in 1978; and a sister, Marilyn Francois McKindles, of L’Anse, Michigan, who died in 2012.

The family is grateful for the kind, compassionate care Phyllis received from Serenity Villa and Horizon Hospice.

Please refer to the Phillip Funeral Home website for service details.

“We love you mom. You truly are our ‘Dancing Queen.’” The Phillip Funeral Home of West Bend is assisting the family; 262-338-2050 /