February 18, 1932 – January 31, 2018
Born in Spalding, NE
Resided in Lincoln, NE

Phyllis Jean Gaston

Phyllis Jean Gaston, 85, of Lincoln passed away January 31, 2018. Born February 18, 1932, in Spalding, NE. she was the third child of Gerrit Vanderwerf and Muriel (Stringfellow) Tyler. When her father joined the Navy in WWII, the family traveled to various locations: Corpus Christie and Virginia Beach among others. Her mother passed away was when she was 12 and the family moved back to Nebraska. Gerrit married Mollia Swanson Tyler in 1947. In 1949 she graduated at the age of 17 from Northeast High School. She attended Wesleyan University for two years and obtained her teaching certificate. She met the love of her life in a psychology class. Their relationship grew while he was in the army communicating with letters and cookies. Phyllis and Robert “Red” Gaston were married on June 4, 1954, in Ainsworth, NE. Phyllis and Red’s marriage was based on kindness. They put each other first. If there was something to be said it was done with humor. They taught their children, grandchildren and others around them what love should look like.

Phyllis and Red moved to Polk, Nebraska, in 1954 where they both taught school. They were blessed with a daughter, Carol, in 1955 and Phyllis stayed home to raise the family. They moved to Beaver Crossing and in 1958 they family was complete and blessed again with the birth of a son, Jim. School teachers moved often and the family lived in Bayard and Homer, Nebraska, before moving to Hooper, Nebraska in 1966. Phyllis gave her energy to raising a family. She was dedicated wife and mother.

She started working at Hooper Elementary in 1971. She put many band aids on children, called parents to get ill children home, balanced the books and served as the best school secretary for 18 years. Her life was filled with school activities, bridge, United Methodist Women, but her family always came first.

Phyllis retired in 1990 when Red retired as superintendent at Logan View High School. They bought a 5th wheel camper and travelled. Their first retirement trip was to Seattle and Alaska. They spent short winters in the warm south, and spent time with family and friends in Nebraska. They moved to Lincoln in 2003. Phyllis joined a canasta group in the community where they purchased their townhome and they enjoyed coffee on Saturday’s with friends. The Tyler siblings now meet for “pie day” once a month but when they started meeting it was Mexican Train Dominos.

Attending children’s activities was replaced by attending grandchildren’s activities for Dan, Sarah, Jake, Jared and Steph. Sports, music, plays, dance, concerts, birthday parties, graduations, weddings and welcoming great grandchildren into the family whenever and wherever the action was. She loved it all.
In 1999, Phyllis had breast cancer. Complications arose after oncology. She faced every battle with a smile, determination and courage.

Phyllis was a friend. She had the ability to laugh at herself. She faced and made the best of every situation.

Family members include her husband, Robert “Red” Gaston; daughter, Carol (Wendell) Hutsell, Waverly; son Jim (Patty) Gaston, Papillion; grandchildren, Daniel (Kylie) Hutsell, Blair, Sarah (Mike) Wilson Kansas City, MO, Jake Gaston, Kansas City, KS, Jared (Molly)Gaston, Omaha and Steph Gaston, Papillion; great-grandchildren, Grant, Lauren, Kendall and Camille; brothers, Gerrit (Van) Tyler and Robert (Kathy) Tyler; sister Marian Slaughter, all of Lincoln. Sister-in-law JoAnn Gaston, Broken Bow, Phyllis Gaston, Norman. Preceded in death by parents, step-mother, Mollia (Swanson) Tyler, mother-in-law, Merwie Gaston, brothers-in-law, Bill Slaughter, Russell Gaston, Thomas Gaston, Spencer Moll, and Howard Hofstater, sisters-in-law, Marge Tyler, Barbara Hofstater, and Mary Moll.

Memorial service: 11:00 a.m. Monday (2-5-18) Roper and Sons Chapel 4300 O St.

Memorials to Faith United Methodist Church, 303 W Maple St, Hooper, NE 68031, or designation of your choice.

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