10/22/1931 - 10/26/2022
Phyllis Tingstad was born in Lincoln, Nebraska, to Merle (Tom) and Velma (Stevenson) Foster in October 1931, and grew up in Wayne, Nebraska. She was quite a bit younger than her two sisters, Jean Cline and Elizabeth (Betty) Ahlvers, and enjoyed the freedoms of being the youngest.
After graduating from high school in Wayne, she started college in Nebraska and then transferred to Colorado State University (College) in Fort Collins. There she met her first husband, Robert Zimbelman. She put her education on hold with the birth of their first child, Karen, and Bob’s deployment to the Korean War. Their second child, David, was born while Bob was in Korea and after his return, Phyllis and Bob moved to Madison, Wisconsin.
Phyllis earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin in 1958, and soon thereafter, their second son, Mark, was born.
In 1960 the family moved to Kalamazoo, Michigan, where their fourth child, Brian, was born. Phyllis managed an active household as the kids grew and pursued various sports, musical, and artistic interests. After her divorce from Bob, Phyllis married Jim Tingstad and became a stepmother to Mike, Janet and Judy. She and Jim moved several times, but once they were settled in the Twin Cities area, she completed a Master’s degree in adult learning at the University of Minnesota. Her professional work focused on adult education programs and resources, especially to help patients best manage their own health care, primarily for hospital systems in Minnesota and Illinois. She and Jim moved to Green Valley, Arizona in 1988.
It was in Green Valley that Phyllis first learned of La Posada when she was recruited to join the Board of Directors. She served on the board until she and Jim decided to move into La Posada, and then she turned her volunteer focus to various local events and ventures. She served as editor of the Resort Report for several years, a volunteer cashier at Vensel Treasure Shoppe, helped collect resident donations for staff holiday recognition, and contributed her time and talents to many other groups. She loved being part of organizations that were doing positive work in her local community and found many outlets for that passion throughout her life.
Music was a constant source of joy and comfort to Phyllis throughout her life. She played piano and flute in her younger years including through high school and college and was called upon to play piano for church functions occasionally. She taught piano lessons to countless children in Kalamazoo. As she neared retirement she took up the cello, stepping into yet another musical adventure that brought her continued enjoyment. She formed deep friendships with those involved in chamber music in the Green Valley community and attended music camps in Colorado and California every year for several decades. It was her greatest joy to find that her grandchildren, and even great-grandchildren, had an interest in music and she was always ready to support those explorations.
Phyllis is predeceased by her husband of 40 years, James E. Tingstad. She is survived by her children, Karen (Chris Copple), Dave, Mark (Karen), and Brian (Angie), her step-daughters Janet (Cam) Perkins and Judy Martin, along with grandchildren Aaron (Celisa) Zimbelman, Amy (Jordan) Wright, Robbie (Brooke Alstrom) Zimbelman, Christian (Katie) Zimbelman, Jennifer (Devan) Romano, Eloise (fiancé Tim Bak) Zimbelman, and Johanna (fiancé Dustin Wilson) Zimbelman, along with 13 great-grandchildren: Olivia, Kate, Andrew, Miles, Ruby, Peter, Philip, Timothy, Enna, Ella, Ava, Hyrum, and Eliza. She also is survived by her dear niece Anne Thayer, and nephews Ken Cline and Doug Ahlvers.
The family will gather for a celebration of Phyllis’s life on Saturday, 12 November at the Madera Room (La Vista) at La Posada at 2 p.m. and welcomes all of Phyllis’s friends to join.