Phyllis Erma “Honey” Ptak was born on Jan. 7, 1926, on the Belk farm north of Henry to Vern and Eva Belk. She was baptized and confirmed at Henry Methodist Church. Phyllis attended all 12 years and graduated from Henry Public School. After graduation, she worked as office manager at Marquardt’s Firestone garage. In 1945, she worked at Base Headquarters, Watertown Air Force Base until closing. Phyllis then moved to Huron to attend Northwest College of Commerce while continuing her government career at the Bureau of Reclamation in Huron. In 1956, Phyllis transferred to Bureau of Reclamation in Watertown. Phyllis was the first female employee. In 1977, the Bureau had a name change to Western Area Power Administration, where Phyllis continued to work until her retirement in 1989, after 42 years of service.
On July 1, 1967, Phyllis married William “Bill” Ptak. They lived in Watertown, spending summers at Lake Kampeska. Bill and Phyllis were instrumental in sponsoring the Karger family from Afghanistan — Hosain, Rahima, Nooshen, Farzad and Omid. The Kargers reside in California.
Phyllis loved music and performed in the Henry and Florence Pep Band for many years while Bill was the band director. A private burial service was held at Lorinda Cemetery in Henry. Memorials may be designated to Henry Methodist Church, Henry Lorinda Cemetery or another organization of your choice.
Phyllis is survived by her brother, Lyle V. “Bud” Belk and sister-in-law, Cleo Belk, both of Watertown; sister-in-law, Donna (Ron) Wolf of Dell Rapids; nieces and nephews, Jeanne (Bill) Snyder of Rapid City, Kevin Wolf of Gillette, Wyo., Sister Maris Clemems of Hampton, Va., Allen (Dawn) Wolf of Worthing, Mickey (Karen) Wolf of Gillette, Carol (Bill) Schutt of Watertown, Lynn (Bob) Reiter of Redlands, Calif., Mary Beth (Neal) Bassett of Scottsdale, Ariz., Brad (Carolyn) Belk of Coon Rapids, Minn., and John (Joni) Belk of Fargo, N.D.; and several great-nieces and great-nephews.
Phyllis was preceded in death by her husband, William “Bill” Ptak, her parents, Vern and Eva Belk and her brother, Harold Belk.