Margie Phillips, age 75, of Madison, died on Sunday, April 16, 2017 at the Avera McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls. Funeral service will be 11:00 AM on Thursday, April 20th at St. John Lutheran Church, Madison with Rev. Shelly Gehring officiating. Visitation will be 5-7 PM on Wednesday at Weiland Funeral Chapel and will continue on Thursday one hour prior to the service at the church. Inurnment will be in St. Thomas Cemetery at a later date. Online condolences can be left at the Weiland Funeral Chapel website. In lieu of flowers, family prefers memorials to: Madison Central School Educational Foundation, 800 NE 9th St., Madison, SD 57042.
Margaret Ruth Stahl Phillips was born October 3, 1941 in Madison, SD, the daughter of Jack & Eleanore (McGee) Stahl. She graduated from Madison High School in 1959 and attended St. Mary-of-the-Woods College in Terre Haute, IN and moved on to Rochester Junior College in Rochester, MN graduate of the Class of 1962.
In 1962, she married Bill Harrington and to this union four children were born. In 1976, she married Gene Phillips and they returned to Madison where they still reside. She was appointed by Governor George Mickelson to the South Dakota Board of Regents in 1989. She served on this board for 3 ½ years and resigned due to health problems. Margie was an insulin dependent diabetic for 64 years. She was employed by the Madison Career Learning Center as a career counselor; previous to that, she was executive director of the Karl E. Mundt Historical and Educational Foundation on the campus of Dakota State University. She started and developed Balloons Because…a balloon bouquet business with 22 outlets in SD and IA. Margie also developed Writers Ink, a writing service business. In the mid 70’s she was employed by KSOO-KPAT radio stations in Sioux Falls as continuity director.
A priority interest of hers was Republican politics from national to local levels. She was chairman for House Majority leader Jerome Lammers campaigns; a staff member of the Leo Thorsness for US Senate campaign; office secretary for the Minnehaha County Republican Party; Lake County Republican Party chairman and vice chairman and several other volunteer positions in the Republican Party in MI, CA and SD.
Some of the organizations she was affiliated with were the SD Board of Regents, SD Development Corporation, SD American Diabetes Association; Juvenile Diabetes Association, Sioux Falls, SD; Lake County Helpline for abused women and children; Just Say No To Drugs in SD; Karl Mundt Foundation Board; Prairie Repertory Theatre; Dakota Prairie Playhouse project; Lake County Cancer Society, Lake/Kingsbury Red Cross; Madison Library Board; and the Madison Central School Educational Foundation.
Because both of her parents’ families came to Madison in 1878/1880, she was a member of the First Family Society of Lake County.
Margie and her husband, Gene, each received the Madison Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Service Award in 1992. In 2006, she was given the Outstanding Friend of Education award for her work in helping to raise funds for the Madison High School computer effort. She and her husband received the Legends and Legacy Philanthropy 2009 award from Dakota State University for their contributions to the school.
Margie is survived by her husband, Gene of Madison; daughter, Elizabeth Harrington of Minneapolis; son, Patrick (Nikki) Harrington of Dell Rapids; stepson, Chad (Becky) Phillips of Sioux Falls; 5 grandchildren, Tana & Tyra Harrington, Cameron (Zecyn) Phillips, Chase Phillips and Katie Harrington; 5 great-grandchildren, Alina & Loren Phillips and Evaleigh, Jordan & Raelynn Phillips; (Diana) Stahl of Blowing Rock, NC; sister, Mary (Jim) Ingram of Oldsmar, FL; sisters-in-law, Ann Stahl of Minneapolis Sarah Bolton Stahl of York, PA and Diana Stahl of Blowing Rock, NC; three brothers-in-law, Gerry (LeAnne) Phillips of Sioux Falls, Glenn (Cheri) Phillips of Crystal City, MO and Gary (Glennette) Phillips of Logan, UT and sister-in-law, Gail (Barney) Madler of Rapid City; several nieces & nephews and one cousin, Mary Ruth Dorsher of Chicago.
She was preceded in death by two infant sons, John Harrington and William Patrick Harrington; her parents; brothers, Thomas Harmon Stahl & Jack (John F. Jr.) and a brother-in-law, George Phillips.