Phyllis E. Utley, 87, of Rochester, formerly of Preston, died Monday evening, June 16, 2014, at Madonna Towers of Rochester.

She was born Jan. 4, 1927, on the family farm in Carimona Township, Fillmore County, the daughter of Elvyn and Corcella (Oftedal) Cummings.

She attended school and graduated as valedictorian from Preston High School in 1944. She attended music school in Chicago for several years and then returned to Preston where she worked at the Fillmore County Court House.

She married Chuck Utley Aug. 4, 1950, in Preston. The couple made their home in Preston, Sauk City, Wis., State Center, Iowa, Mountain Lake, Minn., and then LaPorte City, Iowa, where she was a homemaker.

Chuck died Nov. 16, 1986. She returned to Preston shortly after Chuck's death moving to Rochester in 2000 and then Madonna Towers in 2013.

She was a member of the Preston United Methodist Church where she sang in the church choir. She was also a member of the Sweet Adeline's and the Preston VFW Auxiliary. She enjoyed arts and crafts, was a sports fan and loved her grandchildren.

She is survived by one son, Mark (Tammy) Utley of Reno, Nev.; one daughter, Jeanne (Mark) Hargesheimer of Rochester; six grandchildren; two brothers, Warren (Alice) Cummings of Preston and Donald Cummings of Rochester and one sister, Carol (Joe) Gosi of Preston.

She was preceded in death by one sister, Jeanne Fisher.

The funeral was held Friday, June 20, at the Preston United Methodist Church with the Rev. Michael Smith officiating. Burial was on Monday, June 23, at Ft. Snelling National Cemetery in Minneapolis.

The family prefers memorials be given to Seasons Hospice or the Benedictine Health System Foundation both of Rochester.

Thauwald Funeral Home in Preston is assisting the family with arrangements.