TOMAH - Phyllis Jean Snider was born December 8th, 1934 to Ruth (Bruder) and Charles Batten, in Shennington, WI in the town of Byron. She was delivered by her father and neighbor in their home before the doctor arrived due to a significant Wisconsin blizzard. When she was 3 months old her father passed away from a tragic sawmill accident. At a young age her mother moved her and her two sisters to Sparta, where ironically, they lived next door to her future husband’s aunts. She shared memories of the aunt’s playing piano, singing joyfully, laughing, providing fun, and comfort to the young Batten girls and their single mother. She attended White School, walking with her cherished friend and future sister-in-law, Ruth Snider (Rawhouser). Ruth’s dad, Ernest, would swing by Watermill Road on cold winter days giving her a ride to and from school. She frequently mentioned how Ruthie was always “talking up” her big brother Marty whom she married on January 16, 1954, in Tomah, WI. She graduated in the 1952 class at Tomah High School. On September 21, 2023, after a short and courageous fight against cancer, she passed peacefully surrounded by her family, in the home built by her and Martin. Phyllis was an incredibly strong woman surviving a fatal motorcycle accident in 1952. She was miraculously treated by Dr. Robert Kozarek, who also, delivered her 7 children.
Phyllis held many jobs to help support family with a focus on human rights, community service, volunteering, and health and human services. She started working at the age of 4 at the local grocery store. She was a Clerk, Telephone Operator, Census Taker, Intake Coordinator for WIC, Head Start Counselor, County Board Member, and Nursing Home Aide. Phyllis attended the University of Wisconsin Stout completing a Women Helping Women certification. Phyllis deeply believed in women’s rights, cherishing the right to vote. She helped many women thru difficult situations including domestic abuse. She was a person who initiated change with action and giving.
Mom was involved in Wisconsin Homemakers for 66 years holding positions as President, Vice-President, and Secretary. She also served on the State Wisconsin Homemakers Board. She was involved in multiple clubs which evolved from The Gayetts, The Modernettes to the current KM Duettes. She was a lifelong learner attending College Week for Women and was always bringing educational topics to the meetings. Thru “Club”, Phyllis built life-long relationships with many friends; Margie, Carol, Virginia, Jan, Bridget, Monica, Nancy, Charlene, Marlene, and Mary, to name quite a few. These friendships overlapped with Martin’s friends and co-workers thru his employer Northwest Telephone Company.
Phyllis provided for her large family nurturing a 1/8thacre garden of beautiful flowers and vegetables. She canned pickles, jam, tomatoes, applesauce, frozen corn, peas, beans and peaches, teaching these hobbies to her children, nieces, nephews, and grandkids. An avid baker, you could always count on finding cookies above the oven in the kitchen. As a matter of fact, there had been discussion of an intervention for her love of cookies. Phyllis loved collecting which included books, goats, and her most prized collection of over 300 beautiful toothpick holders. The door to Phyllis and Martin’s home was always open with room at the table offering respite, conversation, and love. Some stayed for hours, days, and even months. Phyllis appreciated the power of nature and beauty, be it in the hills of Tarr Valley, the beaches of Captiva, the rolling waves of Lake Superior or the memories provided by Trout Falls. We frequently found her watching the lightning of a thunderstorm or gazing at the stars.
Phyllis is survived and will be missed terribly by her seven children; Steve Snider (Susie) of Cave Creek, AZ; Kay Mark of Naples, FL; Karen Snider of Madison; Charles Snider (Brenda Rosandich) of Fond Du Lac; Kathy Snider Ph.D of Sheboygan Falls; Kim Jost of Tomah; Curt (Mandy) Snider of Wind Lake. Her grandchildren; Nichole Mark (Austin, Katelyn) of Nashville; Tim Mark of Neenah; Shawn Snider Leikness (Kandon) of Edgerton; Hannah Jost of Milwaukee; Benjamin (Katelyn) Herziger of Sheboygan Falls; Luke Herziger of West Bend; Reisa, Hailey and Wyatt Snider of Wind Lake. Her step-grandchildren; Sarah Schleicher-Knutson; Ryan Brady; Shannon Sierra-Brady (Helberth) Marco and Esteban. Phyllis is survived by Ruth (Ward) Rawhouser of Portland, and lastly, her special cousins, George Bruder and Gordy Batten. Phyllis’s family includes many cousins, nieces and nephews; Battens, Bruders, Ritters, Reardons, Rawhousers, Virginia Sniders, Hasceks, and Abels.
Phyllis is preceded in death by her dance partner and husband of 63 years Martin Snider. Also, by her parents; stepfather Marty Riggs; sisters, Lois Hascek and Helen Johnson; in-laws Phyllis (Wilde), Leo Reardon, nephew Scott Reardon; nephew Nathan Rawhouser; in-laws Frank and Nell Snider; in-law Bob Hascek; son-in law Jim Brady, many aunts, uncles, cousins, and a special friend Rodney Brookman.
Over the years the house that Martin and Phyllis built with love has been a gathering spot for aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends. There are not enough words to describe the strength, courage, grace of this amazing wife, mom, mumsy, grandma, great-grandma, sister, aunt and friend. Her kindness, compassion, strength, and gentle touch is embedded into our lives, hearts, and memories.
Funeral services will be held, Wednesday, September 27, 2023, 11:00 am at the United Methodist Church in Tomah, WI. Pastor Claudia Deede will officiate. Burial will be held in the Greenfield Cemetery following the service. Family and friends are invited for visitation Tuesday, September 26, 2023, from 4:00 pm until 7:00 pm at the Torkelson Funeral Home in Tomah. Additional visitation will be held on Wednesday from 10:00 am until the time of service at the church. The family is asking friends and relatives to bring photos that they may have of Phyllis to be placed on a picture board and gifted to the family. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the charity of your choice, plant a tree, and don’t forget to vote! The Torkelson Funeral Home of Tomah is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences are available at www.torkelsonfuneralhome.com.
Torkelson Funeral Home