Cover photo for Phyllis Gay Kistler Coombs's Obituary
Phyllis Gay Kistler Coombs Profile Photo

Phyllis Gay Kistler Coombs

Phyllis Gay Kistler Coombs pictured with her husband, Jack, she was born on February 9, 1923 in Grand Rapids to Evelyn and Max Kistler. She died on Wednesday October 23, 2019 in Grand Rapids, MI at the age of 96. She had one sister, Jeanne Hillyer who died in 2013, and one brother & sister-in-law Bob & Mary Lou Kistler of Sedona, Arizona. She was married to John Mitchell (always known as ‘Jack’) Coombs in 1942 at Kalamazoo College.

She would be quick to say like David in the 23


Psalm (one of her favorites that she often quoted… in fact it was quite amazing at the number of poems or songs she could flawlessly quote!) “…My cup overflows, Surely goodness and loving kindness will follow me all the days of my life. “ [Ps. 23:5-6]

Phyllis’ life was marked by kindness towards others and an unflagging devotion to her husband of 72 years. She showed unconditional love for each of her five children (Mike, Bob, Jeanne, Brad & John) as well as their spouses, children and grandchildren). She never sought the limelight, but like her Mom before her, she chose to do her work in the background. She loved to play Bridge and she rose to the highest skill level at that game. She spent many years teaching others the game she treasured. She also played the game of golf quite well and could oftentimes out putt her sons (as well as


out putt her husband J )

Both she and Jack grew up in Kalamazoo, Michigan. They raised their family there as well as in Plainwell, Michigan. After the kids grew-up, they lived over 20 years in Sedona, Arizona before moving to West Lafayette, Indiana (near Purdue University where Jack and each of his sons attended) in 2006. After Jack’s death, Phyllis lived at West Side Garden Plaza in Indianapolis Indiana until 2017 at which time she moved ‘back home’ to Michigan to live at the Fountains in Kalamazoo.

Preceded in death by her husband Jack in 2014 and her eldest son, Mike in 2015, she is survived by 4 children, 14 grandchildren, 20 great grandchildren and 3 great-great grandchildren.

Visitation is at Winkel Funeral Home, 207 E Allegan St, Otsego, MI from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM, Saturday, November 2, 2019


Donations may be sent to

Pretty Lake Camp

or to

Faith Hospice


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Condolence Messages

Kara Boyce

October 30, 2019 at 1:33 pm

Ms Jeanne, Brad,

I’m so very sorry for your loss. Your mom was the cutest. My heart breaks for you and your family. I’m thinking of you and sending my love and light. I love you both.


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