Phyllis was forever reunited with her best friend and husband, Reverend Norman Labrentz on April 27, 2019.
Phyllis was born March 27, 1935 in Provost, Alberta, the second child to pioneers Victor and Anne Nystedt. After the passing of Phyllis’s older sister, Doris, the family relocated to Prince Rupert, B.C. She spent her youth with her younger brothers: Alvin, David, and Dennis. At a young age Phyllis devoted her life to serving the Lord. She completed three years of Bible College in Vancouver, graduating with a pastoral diploma. Phyllis married Norman Labrentz October 12, 1956. They pastored together throughout Alberta and Saskatchewan and were instrumental in planting many new churches in the Peace Country. Phyllis had a dream as a child that she would someday be a missionary in Africa. Phyllis and Norman were called to the mission field in 1985, leaving Grande Prairie to move to Lilongwe, Malawi. They returned to Canada after four years with a passion to build a secondary school in Malawi. Phyllis and Norman founded the Friends of Malawi Fellowship with that aim. Phyllis returned to Malawi after Norman’s death, where she brought the dream to fruition. Phyllis considered Blantyre, Malawi to be her home. She built and then ran the school until her declining health necessitated her return to Canada four years ago.
Phyllis was predeceased by her parents; her husband Norman; her older sister Doris; younger brothers Alvin and David; son-in-law Pat O’Rourke; and two grandchildren: Grace and Patrick.
Phyllis leaves behind her brother: Dennis (Eleanor) Nystedt; her children: Elaine O’Rourke, Karela (Bruce) Moffat, Marcia Walker, Norm (Cheryl) Labrentz, Kevin Labrentz, Anna (Travis) Davie, Leslie (Paul) Blimke, Karl Nystedt, and Inez (Marty) McGowan; 21 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren; and countless others over the years who called her “Mum.”
The family wishes to extend their utmost gratitude to the nurses, staff, and residents of Shepherd’s Care Kensington in Edmonton, as they became family to Phyllis for the final years of her life.
Phyllis lived a rich and fulfilled life in devotion to building the Kingdom of God, walking her path with courage to the drum beat of Heaven.
A celebration of Phyllis Labrentz’s life will be held Monday, May 6, 2019 at 1:00 PM at Hope City Church (2225 – 66 Street NW, Edmonton).
For Phyllis’s living legacy, donations are being accepted by check to Friends of Malawi Fellowship by email transfer to [email protected]