Serving West Michigan Since 1899

Phyllis De Witt

April 2, 1927 - April 5, 2024
Holland, MI



Friday, April 12, 2024
3:00 PM to 5:00 PM EDT
Dykstra Funeral Homes
Mulder Chapel
188 West 32nd Street
Holland, MI 49423
(616) 392-2348
Driving Directions


Saturday, April 13, 2024
10:00 AM to 11:00 AM EDT
Central Wesleyan Church
446 West 40th Street, Entrance G
Holland, MI 49423


Saturday, April 13, 2024
11:00 AM EDT
Central Wesleyan church
446 West 40th Street, Entrance G
Holland, MI 49423

Life Story / Obituary


Phyllis De Witt, age 97, went to her heavenly home and the loving embrace of her Savior Jesus Christ on April 5, 2024.

She was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan on April 2, 1927. Phyl met Don while attending Central High School and married on June 24, 1948. They attended Third Reformed Church, where Phyl enjoyed singing in the choir. Phyl worked as an X-ray technician at Butterworth Hospital and in the medical department of General Motors Diesel Division before raising her family of 4 children in East Grand Rapids.

Called to serve as missionaries, Phyl and Don moved to Mexico City in 1964. They initially planned a short term of 2 years working with the Christian short-wave station KGEI of the Far East Broadcasting Company. After their service with KGEI, they ended up staying and serving in Mexico over a span of 20 years. Phyl enjoyed her ministry helping Wycliffe Bible Translators typeset the Bible in the many different indigenous languages of Mexico. While the children were in school, she utilized a Teletype machine which created instructions on a strip of yellow punched tape for the computer to create galley sheets for later printing. They appreciated the many friendships developed at Capital City Baptist Church. Phyl also enjoyed shopping at different markets in Mexico for beautiful, handcrafted items.

During the summers when school was out, the family often returned from Mexico to spend time at their log cabin on Lake Michigan. The cabin was the site of many fond memories for the family over the years. Phyl did an amazing job creating a warm home for a family of six in a small cabin with limited amenities. She did the same in Mexico City when the family lived for a time in guest housing consisting of a single room, after their prior apartment had been unexpectedly rented to others. She always made it work, and it was cozy!

After their years in Mexico, Phyl and Don returned to Michigan, where Phyl continued her ministry by working at International Aid and Camp Geneva. She also enjoyed helping at the church office of Central Wesleyan Church, where she was a member for many years. In her eighties, she discovered that she could still do scripture typesetting remotely. So she resumed her ministry, which she enjoyed very much for years until her arthritis prevented her from continuing. By using email, she was able to help typeset the scriptures in many languages on a global scale.

Phyl was very dedicated to her family and loved each one dearly. In recent years, before COVID-19, she hosted monthly dinners for the whole family in her home, which were very special times for connecting. She enjoyed reading, puzzles and was an avid crossword puzzle fan. Her love, strength, resilience and perseverance in difficult times are an inspiration. She was a great encourager and always had a kind and uplifting word to help those who needed it. She would go to great lengths to help her family through any challenge they might be facing. The family gathered and celebrated her 97th birthday together before she went to her eternal Home three days later.

Phyl was preceded in death by her parents, Claude and Gertrude Workman; sister, Geraldine (Paul) Jones; stepmother, Lyda Workman; step-sister, Carol (Sam) Walma. She is survived by her husband of 75 years, Don; children, Janis (Ken) Formsma of Grand Haven, Karen Denney of Hudson Florida, Jim De Witt of West Olive, and Dave (Pam) De Witt of Grand Haven; grandchildren, Bryan Formsma of Grand Rapids, Christopher (Molly) Formsma of Byron Center, Brad Denney of Hudson Florida, Jennifer De Witt of Holland, Kelsey De Witt of Grand Haven; and great-grandchildren, Natalie, Emmarie and Kate Formsma of Byron Center.

Visitation will be held on Friday, April 12, at the Dykstra Funeral Home - Mulder Chapel, 188 West 32nd Street, Holland, from 3:00pm to 5:00p.m. The funeral service will be on Saturday, April 13, at 11:00a.m., at the Central Wesleyan Church Chapel, Entrance G, 446 West 40th Street, Holland. Visitation will also be held from 10:00am to 10:45am at the church prior to the funeral ceremony. Pastor Lynn Bruce officiating. Interment will be in Port Sheldon Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Phyl’s memory to Wycliffe Bible Translators at

Professional service entrusted to the Mulder Chapel.