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Philomena “Phyllis” Marie DeZee, 86

Philomena “Phyllis” Marie DeZee, 86, of Orangeville, IL peacefully passed away on Thursday, May 6, 2021 at her home holding the hand of her husband the love of her life for 68 years and surrounded by her family.

Phyllis was born on April 5, 1935 in Chicago, IL to Joseph and Margaret (Durik) Benco. She married William “Bill” DeZee and together they were blessed with seven children and she worked very hard and dedicated her life to her family.

Phyllis welcomed everyone into their home with open arms and amazing meals. Everyone was treated like family and made to feel special. She had an incredibly strong faith no matter what obstacle she faced. She always kept anyone in need fastidiously in her prayers and her family said “she had a direct line to heaven”. She gently shared her faith with everyone and led by her beautiful example of grace, acceptance, humility and kindness. Her love for her family was her life and anyone blessed to have known her felt that love. She spent countless hours and many years volunteering as a 4H leader, girl scout leader, teaching faith formation, volunteering at her children’s schools, sewing school uniforms for children in underprivileged countries and was a member of Catholic Daughters. She loved sewing and sewed many baby blankets especially for her beloved grandchildren and great grandchildren. She always selflessly and quietly put the needs of others first. Bill and Phyllis are members of St. Clare of Assisi Catholic Church in Monroe, WI.

Phyllis is survived by her husband of 68 years, William “Bill” DeZee, Sr of Orangeville, IL, children; William DeZee, Jr of Del Rapids, SD, Kenneth (Cressa) DeZee of Wilmington, IL, Deborah (Douglas) Kohls-DeZee of Madison, WI, Margaret DeZee of Kenosha, WI, Michael (Rebecca) DeZee of Lakeland, FL, and Mary (Darrell Scace) DeZee of Monroe, WI, and daughter in law Jane DeZee of Kenosha, WI; 19 grandchildren Anthony, Nicholas, Marlene, Shane, Angelique, Krystal, Kathryn, Heather, Jennifer, Jacqueline, Ruebin, Robert, Rachael, Christopher, Patrick, Samantha, Alexander, Ava and Mya and 16 great-grandchildren Riley, Hawk, Ivy, Tanner, Piper, Willa, Gabriel, Logan, Solomon, McKenna, Breanna, Antonio, Carmine, Tyler, Marilyn, and Nikolai all of whom she dearly adored. Her “baby” siblings Joseph Benco and Annette Hughes. And of course many dear friends who were family to her.

She was preceded in death by her parents and firstborn son Jacque DeZee. She was a blessing to so many who know they now have the best Guardian Angel ever.

A private family graveside service will be held at Calvary Cemetery in Monroe, Wisconsin. Monsignor Larry Bakke will officiate the services. Cremation rites have been accorded.

Darlene J. Morhardt, 87

Darlene J. Morhardt, 87, of Orangeville, IL passed away on Wednesday, May 12, 2021 at the Monroe Clinic Hospital in Monroe, WI.

She was born on February 10, 1934 to Merrill and Uva (Solace) Mays in Orangeville, IL. Darlene graduated from Orangeville High School in 1952. She married Romaine Taft and together they had two sons. Romaine preceded her in death. Darlene then married Darwin Morhardt, together they had one son, but raised their six children. Darwin preceded her in death.

Darlene was a lifelong resident of rural Orangeville, on the family farm. She was a member of the Orangeville United Methodist Church, where she was active in many of the church’s functions. Darlene enjoyed reading, knitting, quilting, cooking, gardening, and playing cards; especially euchre. Darlene had a Scottish pen-pal for over 50 years. She enjoyed spending time with her family, especially her grandchildren.

Darlene is survived by her sons; Mike (Jane) Taft of Lena, IL, Rick (Maggie) Taft of Monroe, WI, Ron (Kim) Morhardt of Rockford, step-daughter; Darby Morhardt of Chicago, IL, and step-sons; Darwin Jr. (Mindy) Morhardt of Lena, IL and Garland (Julie) Morhardt of Freeport, IL, 17 grandchildren and 34 great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents, and her husbands Romaine and Darwin.

Funeral services were held on Monday, May 17, 2021 at 11:00 AM at the Orangeville United Methodist Church. A visitation was from 9:00 AM until time of services at the church. Pastor Sigfried Schwirblat and Ben Morhardt officiated the services.

Burial will be at Mt. Pleasant Cemetery. A memorial has been established in her memory. Condolences may be sent to the family at


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