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Funeral services will take place on Saturday, April 15, 2023 at 11:00 AM (Mountain).

Belvidere Community Church
Belvidere, South Dakota

Word Family Cemetery
Belvidere, South Dakota

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In memory of

Phyllis Ann Word

of Kadoka, South Dakota, died on Thursday, March 2, 2023 at the Kadoka Nursing Home at the age of 93

SERVICES ARE CANCELLED DUE TO WEATHER - MOVED TO Saturday, April 15, 2023 - 11:00 a.m.

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day - and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. 2 Timothy 4: 7-8

Phyllis Ann (Iwan) Word was born March 11, 1929 to Amy Ann (Rada) Iwan and Harold P. Iwan in rural Mellete County, South Dakota, and she met her Savior on March 2, 2023 in Kadoka, South Dakota. Growing up, the Iwan family lived in White River and later moved to the Iwan Ranch south of Stamford. Being the oldest girl of 11 children, Phyllis was expected to keep her siblings in line. Phyllis was a caretaker. She cared for her siblings from the moment they were born and never stopped. Phyllis attended grade school at the Harmony School and graduated high school from White River in 1947.

After graduation, Phyllis went out to see the world. She went as far as New York City, where she lived and worked for a time. She got an opportunity to live and work in Puerto Rico as a nanny and she took it. When Phyllis got back to the States, she studied teaching in Brookings and worked as a nanny to pay for tuition.

Finally back home, West River, Phyllis was teaching 5th and 6th grade in Murdo, SD, when she met a young sailor, fresh out of the US Navy, Don G. Word. They were united in marriage on June 15, 1956 in Don’s hometown of Kadoka. They made their home on the Joseph & Christina Rada ranch two miles east and four miles south of Belvidere on the Big White River. Over the next 13 years, four sons were born to them: Grady, Don, Dave, and John. There are sons that weren’t born to them but whom she fed and loved, regardless of where they came from or how long they stayed. Phyllis’s home was always open. She treasured all her sons.

She was DG’s helpmate and an integral part of establishing Rodeo Bible Camp at the Word Ranch, where it was held for 10 years before moving to Kadoka. Phyl could ranch; she was tough. She could fry a chicken and cut the head off a rattlesnake. She could teach you grammar, natural sciences, and the Word of God. She made a mean pumpkin pie, that try as we may can't be replicated. She would feed you, body and soul. She was a caretaker.

She loved taking walks along the river and on its shale bluffs. If you went along, you can be sure your pockets would come back loaded with fossils and your mind full of the wonders of God’s creation.

After DG’s sudden passing in 1995, Phyllis moved to town. She worked as a server at various restaurants in Kadoka. She was a no-nonsense woman. If you sat at her table, she met you with a smile, you probably left with life advice, and you can bet she added you to her prayer list.

Phyllis knew heartbreak. She often admitted she didn't understand God's reasoning for taking some people too soon and leaving her to remain behind. Yet, even through the saddest times, Phyllis remained first and foremost a fierce child of God. She was a vocal Disciple of Christ and to know her was to know God’s love for you. She prayed for you even if you didn’t know it. A phone call or visit to Phyllis wasn’t complete until she prayed on you and called upon Jesus to bless you and rain His love upon you. Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. 2 Timothy 4: 2

She was reunited in heaven with her parents, her husband Don Grady Word, sons Grady Richard & Don Clay and siblings: Beryl Jean Iwan, Joyce England, Don Iwan, and Paul Iwan.

Grateful for sharing her life include her son David Word (Mary) of Pierre, SD, son John Word (Becky) of Hartford, SD; daughters-in-law, Kelly Powers-Word (Grady), Teri Kezar (Don Clay), her grandchildren: Audra (Jim) Scheel, Laura (Clay) Duxbury, Elizabeth (Zeb) Anderson, Clayton Word, Jesse (Teresa) Tierney, Keenie (Zach) Moore, Murdoch Word, Roman (Tricia) Word, Mackenzie Word and Sydney Word; 10 great-grandchildren; her siblings: Rodney Iwan, Arlene Cox, Floyd Iwan, Darrell Iwan, Roger Iwan and Joe Iwan, and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

Memorial services will be held 11:00 am Saturday, April 15, at the Belvidere Community Church with Pastor Jesse Taylor officiating.

Private family burial will be held at the Word Family Cemetery near Belvidere.

"I'm now looking forward
To that day in the sky
When without any wings
I'll be able to fly
I'll soar without effort
Straight up through the clouds
And without hearing aids
The music of angels
Will sound very loud.
Then I'll look down on
This earth, filled with fear.
We can all shout, LORD
I am here, I am here.
Thank you Jesus for making the way
We are now here in Heaven to stay."
*Written by: Phyllis A. Word (87)

Saturday, April 15, 2023 - 11:00 a.m.
Belvidere Community Church
Belvidere, South Dakota

Pastor Jesse Taylor

Keenie Moore - Musician
“It is Well With My Soul”
Special Music
“How Great Thou Art”

Sydney Word

All Family and Friends in Attendance

Word Family Cemetery
Belvidere, South Dakota

  • Phyllis was a woman of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. She was also a woman of prayer who always hoped for the best for everyone she prayed for. ~ Gary and Ruth McCubbin 667 Wadsworth, ohio (4/13/2023)
  • Loved this lady---she was unique, and she wisely used the special gifts God gave her. Thoughts and prayers to all her family---the verse you chose at the beginning of her obituary is so perfect for her. ~ Justin and Joyce Wheeler Philip, SD (3/30/2023)
  • I didn't know Phyllis very well, but when I visited she always made me feel like she knew me & prayed for me and my family. What a legacy of faith she has left behind! ~ Teresa (Iwan) Penman Puyallup, WA (3/23/2023)
  • I have been gone from SD for many years but remember Phyllis and her sweet smile. This is a wonderful poem written by a wonderful lady.
    ~ Etta Evans Texas (3/23/2023)
  • Hugs and prayers. ~ Jackie Stilwell Kadoka (3/20/2023)
  • Another one of our wonderful, faithful Belvidere Church ladies gone! But Phyllis has left us all with lots of wonderful memories, from Bible School to Sunday School to weekly Bible studies at their ranch to everything in between -- and all with a hostess heart. I am sorry, David and John and extended family, for your loss; but Heaven's gain. May you have many "remember whens" and precious memories and you visit with family and friends during this difficult time. May Jesus comfort your hearts, as only He can do. In Christ, Beryl (Addison) Geer ~ Beryl (Addison) Geer Gillette, Wyoming (3/20/2023)
  • Phylis was a wonderful lady and will be greatly missed. She always treated our family like family. Thank you for sharing this lovely lady with us. God Bless ~ Lee, Nicole & Victor Dennis Philip (3/20/2023)
  • Phyllis was always kind and loving for as long as I knew her. One of God's special angels for sure. Prayers for her family. ~ Jackie Willert Cavanaugh Victor Mt (3/13/2023)
  • I absolutely loved your mom. She rode to church with me to Belvidere and I sure did miss her when she felt she was no longer able to. ~ Gail Reutter Kadoka (3/10/2023)
  • Your Mom was a pillar of the Lord in my life. I remember as a baby Christian, when we helped with rodeo Bible camp going to your Mom's table, when it was just she and I and having discussions about our faith, etc. What a gem of a lady! ~ Cathy A Buckmaster Spearfish (3/3/2023)
  • I'm so sorry to hear of Phyllis passing. She was one of my mother's favorite cousins and after my mom died, Phyllis and I used to exchange cards and letters, and I especially enjoyed her stories of growing up on the prairie. It wasn't an easy life, but she maintained a deep faith. I will miss her. ~ Mark T Hill Roubaix, SD (3/3/2023)
  • Our deepest sympathy to the Word family. Heaven gained a sweet Angel. ~ Slim & Darlene McNaught New Underwood (3/3/2023)
  • Sydney Beth & Mackenzie,
    They will never make another one like your grandmother. She gave so much and asked for so little. We were all blessed to have her in our lives. Our condolences.
    ~ Bob & Erin Van Norman Mesilla, New Mexico (3/3/2023)
  • the Angels gained another Angel and she was a GREAT ONE loved her dearly.She was a role model for me and many others. Rest in Peace my Friend ~ Bonnie Madsen Kadoka South Dakota (3/2/2023)