Phillis Goodman passed away on November 30, 2023, at the age of 81, after a long battle with cancer. She passed peacefully in her home, surrounded by loved ones, which was possible because of the dedicated care she received from the hospice team.
Phillis Jean was born on June 19, 1942, in Spearfish, SD, to Lyle and Jeanette (McCluer) Storm. She was the younger sister to Ellen and Lorraine. Phillis attended grade school in the Hulett area and graduated from Belle Fourche High School in 1960. Throughout her life, Phillis proudly shared that she attended the University of Ol’ Ranch kids, where she learned the true meaning of grit, determination, tenacity, and unyielding work ethic.
Phillis had a strong sense of community and was often found at community events or dances. This is where she met Marshall (Ark) Bears; the pair were married in 1960. They lived and worked in the Hulett area until moving to Story in 1975. To this union, 4 children were born: Clinton, Bonnie, Shirley, and Beckie. During this time, Phillis owned and operated her café called Mama Bears Kitchen, where she proudly did whatever job was needed to take care of her customers. The only thing better than Phillis’ cooking, was that she always took time to visit with her customers and teach her kids and grandkids the art of hard work.
Phillis and Ark divorced in 1983. She later met and married Walter Goodman in 1989; the couple remained in Story. Walt passed away in 2012. Through her love of dancing, Phillis met her companion, Edwin (Whitey) Lefler of Dayton, WY, in 2014. Phillis loved living and working in Story, where she held many jobs over the years. Most recently, she ran a business “Mrs. Git’r Done” in which she did odd jobs for local residents. Phillis loved staying busy and remained faithful to her clients long after her cancer diagnosis.
Phillis was an enthusiastic horsewoman and enjoyed many riding trips in the Big Horn Mountains, including cattle drives and hunting. Phillis was eager to pass along the love of horses to her grandchildren and was known by them to give the best horseback rides. Her zest for life was ever present to her friends and family during the 75th Hulett Rodeo Queen Reunion in 2022, where she and her fellow rodeo queens were honored. Phillis’ “education” at the University of Ol’ Ranch kids was evident by her commitment to participate fully in the Reunion where she sat atop a horse in the Hulett Rodeo parade and rode in the horse drawn wagon during the grand entry, despite undergoing rigorous chemotherapy treatments at the time.
In addition to her love of the western lifestyle, Phillis was an avid card player. She was especially happy teaching her kids and grandkids card games, often disseminating rules at her convenience. Phillis’ one-of-a-kind spirit was ever present on the dance floor, where she was known to have a wicked jitterbug. Even more than her love of horses, cards, dancing, or puzzles was her immeasurable love for her family; she was most content when surrounded by them. Her sense of humor and adventurous spirit will be greatly missed by those that knew and loved her.
Phillis is survived by her sisters; son, Clinton (Stacy) Bears of Klamath Falls, OR; daughters, Bonnie (Brad) Porch of Buffalo, WY, Shirley (Rob) Lueders of Buffalo, WY, and Beckie (Gary) Plessner of Story, WY; step-daughters, Marilyn (Mike Hiller) Winner of Big Horn, WY, Kathleen Taylor of Casper, WY; and a step-son, Wayne Goodman of Emigrant, MT. She is also survived by 13 grandchildren and 32 great-grandchildren.
Phillis was preceded in death by her parents, husband Walt, numerous Aunt’s and Uncle’s, a step-granddaughter and 2 step-great-grandchildren.
A Celebration of Life will take place at Kane Funeral Home in Sheridan on Saturday, December 9, 2023, at 2:00 pm; interment will follow at the Story Cemetery. Following the interment, the family welcomes all who are interested in celebrating Phillis’ legacy to join them for fellowship at the Story Woman’s Club. Phillis treasured the Story community; therefore, in lieu of flowers, memorials can be sent to the Story Fire Department PO Box 4., Story, WY 82842 or the Story Library, PO Box 188, Story, WY 82842.
If you cannot attend please join the family via ZOOM.
Online condolences may be written at www.kanefuneral.com.
Kane Funeral Home has been entrusted with arrangements.