Catherine Phyllis McElroy
Friday, January 27, 1922
Date of Death:
Friday, February 19, 2021
99 years old
Catherine Phyllis McElroy
Catherine “Phyllis” McElroy, age 99, of Rochester, passed away February 19, 2021. Phyllis was born January 27, 1922 to Thomas and Mabel Fitzgerald in Westfield Township (near Hayfield and Blooming Prairie).
Phyllis’ early life on the farm was not an easy one. They lived off the land without running water or electricity. She graduated Valedictorian from Blooming Prairie High School in 1938. She then made her way to Washington DC where she worked for the War Production Board as a stenographer. Phyllis could type 80 words per minute.
While in DC she met and courted a dashing US Marine, Kenneth McElroy. They married on September 18, 1942. In July 1943, Phyllis resigned from her position and they returned to Minnesota.
Phyllis and Kenneth raised 5 children: Judy, Joanne (Joe), Thomas, Michael (Kathy), and Daniel (Candace). She was also blessed with 9 grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren, and 4 great-great-grandchildren.
Her husband, Kenneth, and son, Thomas preceded her in death.
Phyllis was a very caring, loving, and giving person. She loved and supported her church and did many things to help there, including sponsoring priests through the seminary. Phyllis put a lot of good into the world in many different ways. She sponsored a family into Rochester from Vietnam, staying in contact for years. She and her husband helped build an orphanage in Mexico, using the proceeds from a cheesecake cookbook that she and a friend wrote and published. She also traveled to Mexico to physically help with the build.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Saturday, February 27, 2021 at 2:00pm at Church of the Resurrection in Rochester, with Rev. Peter Schuster officiating. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the church. Interment will be at Calvary Cemetery in Rochester. Due to Covid-19, the family respects all decisions on attendance.
The family prefers memorials to Channel One.
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The family of Catherine Phyllis McElroy has received the following condolences.
My sister Mary Lou and I are first cousins of Phyllis and hadn’t visited her since the summer before the pandemic, but we are saddened to hear of her recent death. What a beautiful person she was, so giving, loving and caring of all people. I have many fond memories of playing with Judy & Joanne when we were kids at the farm and at family reunions. We will miss dear Phyllis but will keep her in our thoughts and memories. Our sincere condolences to her beloved family!
Connie Baudoin Nelson, St Paul
My sympathies to all the family Joanne in your lost of your Mom. Amazing that she was blessed to be with you all these yrs. That is wonderful she was 99 yrs. old. Blessings my friend. Love Mary Fran, John & Family
My condolences to all of the McElroy family. I have fond memories or years past with your parents and brother Tom. He and I were teammates, classmates and friends. I was a pallbearer for Tom, I often talked to your mom and dad after mass at Ressurection. Your mom was a wonderful woman.
Sorry for your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with McElroy family during this difficult time.
So sorry to hear about the passing of Phyllis. She lived an incredible life. I grew up in Rochester and knew her late son Tom. We were in school together and played little league baseball together with the Longfellow Cubs and bears. Lots of good memories and I think of Tom often. My father Kenneth Mangan would have coffee often with her husband Ken. God bless.
My deepest sympathy to Phyllis’ family. I have so many memories of dear, kind, and caring Phyllis. Most of those memories include my Mom and Phyllis with their heads together giggling.