Phyllis O'Neill
Phyllis O'Neill age 83 of Nashua, IA died Thursday, December 16, 2021, at Valley View Care Center in Greene, IA.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, December 21, 2021, at St. Michael's Catholic Church in Nashua, IA with Rev. Tom Heathershaw celebrating the Mass. Interment will follow at St. Michael's Cemetery in Nashua with Nathan O'Neill, Nickolas Aswegan, Jenna O'Neill, Calli O'Neill, JR O'Neill, and Emma O'Neill serving as pallbearers. Honorary pallbearers will be Alicia O'Neill, Tresa Aswegan, Elayna O'Neill, Elexa O'Neill, Sam O'Neill, Gavin Buseman, Emilie O'Neill, Eliyana O'Neill, Rosie O'Neill, and Xavier Rossiter.

Friends may greet the family from 4:00 - 7:00 p.m. on Monday, December 20, 2021, at Hugeback-Johnson Funeral Home & Crematory in Nashua where there will be a 7:00 p.m. Parish Scripture Service. Visitation continues an hour prior to the Mass on Tuesday at the church. Cards and memorials may be sent to Janet O’Neill at 401 11th St N, Northwood, IA 50459. Online condolences for the O'Neill family may be left at hugebackfuneralhome.com

Phyllis was born on Oct. 8, 1938, in Waverly to Theodore and Augusta (Hoffman) Vohsman in Waverly, and she grew up with her six siblings on a farm east of Nashua. She attended country schools — walking “uphill” both ways — before her family moved into Nashua, where she was a member of Nashua High School’s Class of 1957.

While she was going to high school, she worked several different jobs, including ones at Nashua’s dry cleaners and grocery store.

Phyllis met Charles O’Neill in school, and after he served in the U.S. Army, the two were married on June 24, 1957, at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Nashua. She often bragged about being only 18 when they married. The couple farmed together for many years and their family grew to include seven children — Joann, Steve, Bob, Dave, Janet, Brian, and Scot.

The O’Neill kids had a one-of-a-kind mother who was the glue that kept the house together. Even today, her children fondly remember the nights they spent with their mother playing card games, doing homework with flashcards, cooking hot dogs with the wood stove, and learning life lessons. Phyllis always had her kids’ backs, and she expected them to do the same with each other. One of her favorite sayings was, “When you go together, you stay together, you leave together, you always stick up for each other, and you let me know when you’re home.”

Phyllis did her part on the family farm, always pitching in to help her husband and children with chores. She also lived by the mantra that if you could buy something in a can at a store, she could find a way to fit it in the jar. She was a fantastic cook and baker, and she never made anything out of a box. She’d drive around the “neighborhood” with one of her kids to find elderberries, and when they did, out came the brown paper sack to collect the berries that were turned into the tastiest jelly.

Phyllis and Charles were a member of several neighborhood card clubs, and she was active in her circle at St. Michael’s — often baking pies, working at the hall, and helping out at the church’s food stand on the Big Four Fairgrounds.

She was the best mom, but she was an even better grandmother and great-grandmother who loved spending time with her grandchildren. A day with them was simply the best. Family meant everything, maybe the only thing.

Throughout her life, Phyllis made holidays special. It didn’t matter if it was Christmas, Easter, Halloween, or any other holiday, she made it special — first for her children years ago and then later in life for her grandchildren and greats — but then again, that was Phyllis in a proverbial nutshell. She always, without fail, put others before herself. She made others feel special, and this kind-hearted soul will be dearly missed by all who knew and loved her.

Phyllis O’Neill is survived by her five sons, Steve O’Neill of Nashua, Bob (Sarah) O’Neill of Nashua, David (Carmen) O’Neill of Nashua, Brian O’Neill of Cresco, Scot O’Neill of Charles City; two daughters, Joann (Bruce) Aswegan of Northwood, Janet (Brian Klingfuss) O’Neill of Northwood; nine grandchildren, Nathan (Alicia) O’Neill, Nickolas (Tresa) Aswegan, Jenna Weitzel, Calli (Austin Patterson) O’Neill, JR O’Neill, Emma O’Neill, Elayna O’Neill, Sam O’Neill, and Rosie O’Neill; five great-grandchildren, Elexa O’Neill, Gavin Buseman, Emilie O’Neill, Eliyana O’Neill, and Xavier Rossiter; one brother, Dick Vohsman of Denver; and one sister, Rosie (Dave) Meek of Marble Rock. Also cherishing her memory are numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and extended family.

She is preceded by her husband, Charles; a granddaughter, Dana Aswegan; sisters, Lucille (Clarence) Shinstine and Jo (Gus) Frascht; brothers, Teddy (Eleonora) Vohsman and Lawrence (Edith) Vohsman; and sister-in-law, Jane Vohsman.
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