In Memory

Phyllis Wiens (Whitlow)

Phyllis Lou (Wiens) Whitlow was born on June 6, 1954, accompanied by her twin brother Philip, to Calvin and Mary Lou (Lohrenz) Wiens in Hays, Kansas.  She grew up in Wichita, Kansas.   She gave her heart to the Lord at a young age and was baptized on an Easter Sunday at First Mennonite Brethren Church in Wichita. She went to be with the Lord on June 28, 2016, after a short battle with cancer.

Music was always a passion in her life. She began playing viola in the fourth grade and participated in orchestras throughout her school years, including the Wichita Youth Symphony Orchestra and the Wichita Symphony Orchestra. As a high school senior she won the prestigious Youth Talent Award and was a soloist with the Wichita Symphony Orchestra. She was also an excellent pianist. She graduated from Wichita State University with a Bachelor of Music degree in viola performance in 1976. In January of 1977 she moved to Raleigh, North Carolina, having won a position as a violist in the North Carolina Symphony. She performed with them for 32 years, many of them as assistant principal. She was a highly sought-out viola player in the area for chamber music. There she met Kenneth Whitlow, a North Carolina Symphony percussionist, whom she married on July 9, 1996.  They made their home in Cary, North Carolina. She retired from the orchestra in 2014.

In May 2014 she and Ken moved to Montrose, Colorado, fulfilling their dream of living in the area. She enjoyed the process of building a house and exploring the area with Ken. She often said these were the best years of her life. 

Phyllis was a very conscientious and organized person. She was a good student and often involved her whole family to make sure her schoolwork was done right. She enjoyed hiking and exploring the San Juan Mountains by jeep with Ken.  She was known for her hospitality, inviting small groups over for dinner and trying out new recipes on them. She loved her Lord Jesus and was involved in Bible studies.

She is survived by her husband, Ken Whitlow and his son Richard and his family of Zebulon, North Carolina; her parents, Calvin and Mary Lou Wiens of Wichita, Kansas; brother Charles Wiens of Arvada, Colo.; twin brother Philip Wiens of Wichita, Kansas; sister Cheryl (Wiens) Doeden and husband Brad of Wichita, Kansas, and their children: Grant, Liesel, Drew, Chad, Troy, Kyle, John, and Vance; and four grandnieces and three grandnephews.

Phyllis and Ken have deeply appreciated the love shown by the church family of Victory Baptist Church of Montrose, especially during this time of illness. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to HopeWest Hospice Care of Montrose.  A Celebration of Phyllis’s life will be held on Saturday, July 2nd at 11:00 A.M. at Victory Baptist Church, 2890 North Townsend, Montrose. Crippin Funeral Home & Crematory of Montrose is assisting the family.