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Phyllis Thrall

October 23, 1941 - July 22, 2014


5-6:00 P.M. Tuesday, August 5, 2014 at Boulger Funeral Home, Fargo.

Funeral Service:

Celebration of Life Service: 6:00 P.M. Tuesday, August 5, 2014 at Boulger Funeral Home, Fargo.

A light dinner will be served following ther service in Boulger Funeral Home's Celebration of Life Center, Fargo.


Boulger Funeral Home, Fargo.

Phyllis Thrall

October 23, 1941 - July 22, 2014


Phyllis Irene Vasquez Thrall, age 72, died at her home on July 22 in Fargo, N.D. surrounded by loving family. Diagnosed with leukemia in 2002, she never let the uncertainty of living with cancer get in the way of celebrating life and expressing love and gratitude for the always widening circle of friends and family who were a part of her life.

Phyllis was born in Fargo on October 23, 1941 to Minnie (Perez) Vasquez and Joseph Vasquez. One of nine siblings, Phyllis graduated from Fargo Central High School and soon after married Lee Hamilton and moved to Grand Forks to raise a family of four children. Phyllis was an awesome mom, teaching her children the importance of family, kindness and compassion for others.

She returned to college later in life, receiving her Masters degree in speech pathology from the University of North Dakota. She remarried to Dwight “Pete” Thrall and moved to Fargo where she spent her career as a beloved “’peech teacher” at a number of schools, including Washington Elementary School and Hawthorne Elementary School, among others. Phyllis and Pete shared a beautiful 26 year marriage that was an inspiration to all around them.

Phyllis is survived by her husband, Dwight “Pete” Thrall, her children, Scott Robert (Lori) Hamilton, Keith Andrew (Laura Kahn) Hamilton, Laura Lee (Michael McCrystal) Hamilton, Sarah Jo (Aaron Solem) Hamilton, Mark (Lori) Thrall, Jeff Thrall, Susie (Jeff) Rodin; fourteen grandchildren and three (soon to be four)  great grandchildren; siblings Eddie Vasquez, Josie Martinson, Jose (Phyllis) Vasquez, Rudy (Marni) Vasquez, Diane (Chuck Blair) McKinley, and David (Bonnie Oderman) Vasquez; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and in-laws;.  She is preceeded in death by her father Joseph, mother Minnie, sister Ruth Morris,  son-in-law Joshua Ewing, and brother Dan Vasquez.

We would like to thank the medical team and volunteers of MD Anderson Cancer Center, in Houston, TX, and the Roger Maris Cancer Center in Fargo, ND, for their dedicated care and compassion.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions in memory of Phyllis Thrall to the Roger Maris Cancer Center.


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27 responses to “Phyllis Thrall”

  1. Cheryl Leach says:

    Hurley MSMay God of all grace comfort you all as you miss your Wife, Mom, Sister, Gramma, Auntie and Friend. Phyllis will always be a light of sunshine in my heart and memories as I am sure she is in yours. With much love, Cheryl


    East Grand Forks MN
    Laura and Family,

    I was wonderful to see you last night. The service for your mom was so fitting, a Celebration of her life. She was as lucky to have you and your siblings and you were to have her. I miss my mom daily but try to remind myself how very lucky I was to have such a great relationship with her while we were together. I would love to stay in touch. Thinking of you and your family and sending you hugs.

  3. Donna Haskins Cely says:

    For death is no more than a turning of us over from time to eternity. –William Penn

    My memories of Phyllis are from more than 30+ years ago, yet they are of a beautiful, vibrant, intelligent woman. Though I’ve not seen her in a number of years, my sister has kept me informed about her health issues. Pictures of Phyllis confirm that she was still a beautiful woman. Her smile never diminished. Bless the spirit that was Phyllis and those who loved her. May the memories of her bring them comfort in this time of loss. Rejoice that she lived . . . for she cast a beautiful light in this world.

  4. Linda Daivs says:

    Moorhead Minnesota
    To the family of Phyllis Thrall,

    My name is Linda Davis, and I served as a speech pathologist for a private speech/language clinic in Fargo during the 1990’s. I was working with students in Washington and Hawthorne Elementary schools as a substitute when I met Phyllis.

    Although I was new to the Fargo/Moorhead area and the Fargo Schools (originally from Iowa), Phyllis welcomed me with friendship and kindness, and supported my professional efforts with respect and guidance.

    Phyllis was a special woman in my professional life. Her sense of humor and dedication encouraged me in my early years in the Fargo-Moorhead area.

    Thank you, Phyllis, for your leadership in our field!

  5. Jonathan Hart says:

    My heartfelt condolences go out to your entire family. Your mom was a great lady and I don’t think I had ever seen her without a smile on her face. I know she dealt with her health issues with grace and dignity. May you find comfort in the fact that she is with her Lord now and free of pain!

  6. Eloyce and Jim Kenward says:

    Fargo ND
    Phyllis was our great friend. When our Armenian/Russian family came, a Mom.a Dad and two black haired brown eyed boys ages eight and nine, Phyllis
    volunteered to help them with their English. They had difficulty with the ‘th’
    sound, not found in the Russian language. She had them saying th, th, th, to help them become comfortable with their new language. All the th, th, ths did it. Today these young men speak very good English.

    Phyllis was a gifted person who enjoyed helping others. She was a living example of someone who practiced, ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.’ We have enjoyed good food, good conversations and many exciting and fun times with Phyllis and Pete.

    We will miss Phyllis. She taught us many things – especially being brave and tough when things get difficult. During her struggle with cancer she fought graciously and courageously for more then twelve years.

    Phyllis, too, was a champion hugger. Her warm greetings and enthusiastic hugs along with her willingness to help will be forever remembered – what a great legacy. We Love you Phyllis.

  7. Janice Thompson Lipsiea says:

    Gresham OrPete,
    So sorry for your loss. Never had the pleasure of meeting Phyllis, but know she was someone very special. Our prayers and thoughts are with you and your family.

  8. Judi and David Hubert says:

    Stuart FL.It was such a delight and pleasure to meet Phyllis, my son Michael’s new mother in law, when we were at the wedding in April. I am just sorry we had not met many years ago. Rest in peace Dear Lady.
    Judi and Dave

  9. Pam Aasness says:

    Moorhead Minnesota
    I am so sorry for your loss. I was a speech pathologist with Phyllis in the Fargo Public Schools for many years. What a fun lady even as she struggled with her illness she always had a smile.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

    Pam Aasness


    Rosemont IllinoisDear Pete,
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you. We are so glad that we got to spend time with you and Phyllis after our daughter’s wedding.
    With sympathy,
    Chip & Lourene

  11. Ginger and Richard Roberts says:

    We send loving hugs and warm wishes to you and your family, Pete. c6

  12. John and Mary Gerszewski says:

    Oslo MN
    Scott, Keith, Laura and Sarah: We were so sorry to learn of your mom’s passing. We have many fond memories of living on South 10th Street and getting to know your family. She was a great mom and a neat lady and had so much love to share. She has left you many memories to cherish. God Bless her memory and you kids and your families. John and Mary Gerszewski, Patty, Mike, Joanne and Katy.

  13. Beverly Nassif Hinton says:

    Prescott AZ
    .Pete and all the family:
    Thinking of you and hoping all the wonderful memories of dear Phyllis will help comfort you.
    Her long battle with cancer she never lost her positive attitude or her joy for living.
    A life well lived is a life remembered with love. Love and Blessings,

    Bev Hinton

  14. Lyle "Lefty" Sorum says:

    Roseville MN


    My thoughts are with You my life long friend.

    I would like to meet with you when I am in Fargo. I have two daughters living in Fargo.


  15. John & Claudia Bergan says:

    Fargo N.D
    Pete our hearts and prayers are with you and your family

  16. Dale & Carol Stenerson says:

    Fargo N.D
    .Blessed be the memory of Phyllis that Pete, & the rest of family have of this delightful & compassionate “WOMEN”!! Carol & i, Dale only had the priviledge of meeting & getting to know her, was thru the Roughrider KW’S!!! The impact is trully a example of a LEGACY!! GOD BLESS : Dale S.

  17. Tim & Jane Meyer says:

    Pete and family – we are so sorry to hear of Phyllis’ passing. We so enjoyed the two of you during your time at Lake Lizzie. We remember Phyllis taking walks here at the lake with your mother, Pete. Our prayers are with you. Tim and Jane

  18. Mike & Linda Haskins says:

    Circle Pines MnPete and family,
    It is with heartfelt sympathy that we offer out condolences to you on the passing of your wife and mother….Phyllis. She has courageously fought this long battle with more determination and positive attitude than anyone else we know. You were all the sole reason for that fight as we know how important family was to Phyllis. She will definately be missed, but please hold all your precious memories you’ve made with her close to heart. She’ll be with you every day as your guardian angel watching over you.

    With sympathy and love to you all,
    Mike & Linda

  19. dick alsop says:

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you

  20. Bernadine Goodman Letsche says:

    Edina MnPhyllis was one of those wonderful people that everyone liked. She truly lit up a room and we will miss her at our 55th class reunion in August.

  21. Dean says:

    I am so sorry to learn of Phyllis passing today
    Please accept my strongest condolences
    I just hate this part of our lives together, and I personally know how ‘life changing” a loss like this is
    our sincere thoughts and prayers are with YOU ALL
    Dean Jill Ted

  22. Maureen Bendele says:

    Grand Forks ND
    I enjoyed working with Phyllis at NW Bell in GF in the early 60’s, when Lee was a student at UND. We lost touch after I moved to Calif and later returned to the area. My heartfelt sympathy on your loss.

  23. Lee and jan yarger says:

    Laporte MninnesotaDear Pete,
    Our lives keep coming together at meaningful times and now this is such a sad one. We love you guys! Jan and I are presently in Florence, Italy with our two sons and two granddaughters. God bless you all in the days ahead.
    Lee and jan yarger

  24. Georgia brandvig/Kensmoe says:

    Mount Vernon WAPhyllis will be missed by all whose lives she touched. She was an amazingly wonderful friend who always thought of others before herself. She put up a good fight and always had a positive attitude and was of so much encouragement to everyone who knew her.

  25. Larry Rittgarn and Mary Ivers says:

    Fargo ND
    Pete we were so shocked and saddened with the passing of Phyllis.
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your families.

  26. John Skare says:

    Phyllis was very much loved by all who had the honor of meeting, witnessing her lovely smile. I first meet her in Jr High School in Fargo, ND
    ….we were part of the Class of ’59 at our Fargo Central High. Our 55th Reunion is in Fargo a week after her memorial service….we will miss her presence. Love you Phyllis!

  27. Michael McGuire says:

    Fargo ND
    Phyllis and I ate a lot of Gertie burgers together at the courthouse during our attendance at Fargo Central. I will miss my old friend.

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