Phyllis Arlene Soderstrom, beloved wife, mother, and grandmother, passed away at her home in Turlock on July 4, 2023, at the age of 77.
Phyllis was born on September 29, 1945, at the old Emanuel Hospital in Turlock to
Arthur & Hilma Kronberg. Her family came to the Turlock/Hilmar area in the early 1900s.
They were members of the Swedish Covenant Church, and she recalled growing up in a deeply spiritual and loving family that instilled in her a faith that guided her throughout her life.
She always remained close with her older siblings - brother Merle and sister Marlene - as well as her cousin Elaine.
Phyllis attended Johnson Joint School in Youngstown Colony (the Swedish colony southeast of Turlock) as well as Hawthorne and Wakefield Schools in Turlock.
In 1963 Phyllis graduated from Turlock High School. She took classes at Biola University and Modesto Junior College and was also a licensed cosmetologist. She returned to college in her 50s and completed her AA degree.
She met Roger Soderstrom at a church snow camp, and they were married on September 2, 1967. She was devoted to Roger and always thankful for him. They built a home in the Turlock countryside where Roger farmed, and Phyllis was a homemaker.
She unconditionally loved her children and enthusiastically supported all their activities.
She never missed a sporting event, school program, or recital. She could be counted on for anything; if there was ever a problem you could always call Mom for help. As much as she loved her children, she may have loved her grandchildren even more, and they were fortunate to have Gramma in their lives.
Phyllis was also committed to serving the community. She coauthored two books on the history of Turlock.
She and Roger founded Competitor’s Edge (a ministry for Turlock High School athletes) and held a Tuesday Night Bible Study with local pastors to pray for and plan community events. She was a founding board member of the Turlock Gospel Mission and worked on human trafficking issues.
She was always positive, took great satisfaction in helping others, was incredibly generous, and loved to study the Bible.
She was a health nut and enjoyed outdoor activities such as snow skiing, water skiing, golfing, and riding bikes. She ran her first 5k after the age of 50, and she and Roger enjoyed many travel adventures.
Though her final years were marked by Alzheimer’s disease she never lost her smile and laugh.
Phyllis was preceded in death by her parents and brother.
She is survived by her husband of 55 years, Roger Soderstrom; her children Kristen (Rob) Santos, Steve (Tami) Soderstrom, Robin (Todd) Owen, and Kim (Jason) Seay; her grandchildren; Tate Soderstrom, Avery Moen (Trey), Tyler Soderstrom, Nick Santos, Andy Owen, Phoebe Santos, Teddy Santos, Hannah Seay, and Grayson Seay; her sister Marlene Bach; her cousin Elaine Wahlquist (Tim), and numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews.
Please join the family for a memorial service on Tuesday, July 11 at 9:00 a.m. in the main chapel at Turlock Memorial Park and Funeral Home.
A viewing will be held on Monday, July 10 from 5:00-7:00 p.m., also in the main chapel. Interment will be private.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Turlock Gospel Mission.