Phyllis Mae Hart died at her home in Eden Prairie, Minn., surrounded by her family on Sunday, Nov. 15, 2020.

Daughter of Levi and Alma (Deschene) Dufault, she was born May 14, 1931, in Argyle, Minn. She graduated from St. James Academy in Grand Forks, N.D., and then attended the College of St. Benedict, St. Joseph, Minn., where she studied voice and music.

Phyllis was married to John “Jay” Hart on May 23, 1953, in Grand Forks. She and Jay made their home in International Falls, Minn., where Jay worked as a Research Chemical Engineer for Mando and Boise Cascade. In addition to raising six children, Phyllis worked as a bank teller and as an assistant teacher in a piano studio. After Jay’s death in 1992, she moved to the Twin Cities to be near her children and grandchildren, settling in Eden Prairie, Minn.

Phyllis was highly engaged in the parish of St. Thomas Aquinas in International Falls, and was a dedicated member of the liturgical music team. A gifted musician with a lovely soprano voice, she sang for countless weddings, funerals and liturgies of all kinds throughout her life. More recently she was a member of the choir at St. Hubert’s, her new parish in Chanhassen, Minn., where she was also a home visitor.

In addition to her love of music, Phyllis enjoyed annual fishing and camping trips with a lifelong group of friends. She was a state regent for the Catholic Daughters of America. She relished annual trips to enjoy the Metropolitan Opera in Minneapolis. She enjoyed the sport of curling and played in womens’ and couples’ leagues. She and Jay loved to go fishing together, enjoying friendly competition, and introduced their family to the outdoors on many camping trips as young children. She was an avid bridge fan and played in International Falls, Chanhassen and Eden Prairie. Phyllis loved to travel and made many international trips and cruises with family and friends.

She loved to spend time with her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren and cherished summer family get-togethers on Rainy Lake. Phyllis’ greatest love was for her husband and the family they created. Her legacy is a close-knit family who deeply cares for each other and strives to live by her example.

Phyllis was preceded in death by her parents, husband Jay, an infant son, sister Valerie, and brothers Dennis and Richard.

She is survived by daughters Sheila (Mark Meester) Hart, International Falls, Minn., and Maureen (Jason) Miller, Waconia, Minn., sons Brian, Clearwater, Minn., David, Eden Prairie, Minn., Leigh (Tammy), Eden Prairie, Minn., and Gene, Minnetonka, Minn., brothers Francis (Margie), Palm Bay, Fla., Gary (Vonnie), Boise, Idaho, and sister-in-law Margaret (Dennis), Vista, Calif., grandchildren Jack, Alex (Brian), Emmy (Blake), Ian, Paityn and Kendall, great-grandsons Andrew, William, and Hart, and many nieces and nephews.

The family will hold a Celebration of Life in late summer in International Falls. Memorials to St. Thomas Aquinas School in International Falls are preferred.

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