In loving memory of

Phyllis Jean Utsinger
February 4, 1929 - December 15, 2021

Phyllis Jean Utsinger was born on February 4, 1929 to John August and Alice Amelia (Simon) Jessen in Denison, Iowa. She was baptized and later confirmed her faith at Zion Lutheran Church in Denison. She graduated from Deloit High School with the class of 1947. Following her education, she married Virgil Slectha on July 27, 1947. Together they had one son, Gary Slechta born on March 3, 1948. The family lived in the Denison area for several years after marriage and then relocated to the Council Bluffs area. She was employed with several different companies doing secretary work. Later, she married Phil Utsinger and enjoyed traveling and trucking with him.

Phyllis was a previously a member of Southside Christian Church in Council Bluffs, where she spent a lot of time volunteering. Approximately seven years ago she relocated to Denison and became a member of Our Savior Lutheran Church. She enjoyed vegetable gardening and caring for her plants and flowers. She looked forward watching and feeding the birds outside her home. She cherished her rescue dog, Marco. When she lived in Council Bluffs, she did foster care for dogs. She also spent time volunteering at the animal shelter. Phyllis will be remembered for her hard work and being the special aunt, she was.

Phyllis passed away, surrounded by her family, at the Crawford County Memorial Hospital in Denison at the age of 92 years, 10 months and 11 days.

Phyllis was preceded in death by her parents; son, Gary Slechta; two husbands: Virgil Slechta and Phil Utsinger; infant sister, Betty Ann Jessen; siblings-in-law: Dianne Jessen and James Hart; and nephew, Todd Jessen. She is survived by three siblings: Lois Hart of Charter Oak, John "Jack" and wife, Delores Jessen of Denison, and James "Jim" Jessen and special friend, Joyce Esser of Charter Oak; several nieces and nephews; and many special friends.

Visitation will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, December 18, 2021 with the funeral service to follow at 10:30 a.m. all at the Huebner Funeral Home in Denison. Interment will be held in King Cemetery near Vail. Memorials may be directed to the Senior Center or Crawford County Memorial Transportation.


Mary Boger wrote on Dec 19, 2021:

"So sorry to hear of Phyllis?s passing. She was a very special lady and I enjoyed all the time I spent with her. Prayers for her family. Mary and Kevin Boger"

Jenilynn Marchand wrote on Dec 18, 2021:

"Love you Great-Aunt Phyllis! I?m happy that you are finally reunited with Gary as well as other friends and family. And of course, Marco. You were a force to be reckoned with; your strength, courage, independence, intelligence, humor, and love for friends and family have been inspirational. The more I learned about you the more I wanted to learn :) Wish I could?ve made it to your funeral but I take comfort in having visited you a few weeks ago. You will remain in my thoughts and memories until we meet again. "

Diane Smith wrote on Dec 18, 2021:

"Such a wonderful lady. I used to deliver books to her from the library here in Denison. She would call and we would visit over the phone about books and our pets. God speed, my friend"

Dean Slechta wrote on Dec 16, 2021:

"So long for now my friend and great aunt. I have thoroughly enjoyed these last few years reacquainting with visits in your home(s) and/or phone conversations. The love you had for Marco was heartwarming. Giving me information on "the good ole' days" to fill in gaps of family history was a big help to me. Love you... Dusty Dean"