Phyllis Jean James was born March 5, 1924 in Mitchell to Wayne and Anna (Fessler) Ferguson. She graduated from Fulton High School and received her Teaching Certificate from Notre Dame Academy in Mitchell. She taught school at Ravenna #3 in Sanborn County. On October 23, 1943 she married Irvin James. They farmed in Miner County until moving to Mitchell in 1984. Phyllis worked at the Methodist Church in Mitchell for 17 years at Parents Day Out and Vacation Bible School. She was a member of the Farwell Methodist Church and then First United Methodist Church in Mitchell, a 50 year member of the Beaver Extension Club in Miner County and the Miner County Farmers Union.
She is survived by her three children: Sharon (Don) Bowman of Fedora, Nancy (Mike) Tingle of Mount Vernon and Leland (Linda) James of Mitchell; one sister, Audrey (Joe) Tobin of Racine, WI; twelve grandchildren, two step grandchildren, twenty-eight great-grandchildren, five step great-grandchildren, ten great-great-grandchildren, two step great-great grandchildren and a sister-in-law, Doris James of Pipestone, MN.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Irvin and a son, Roger.