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Phyllis Westerfield Niedfeldt of Oxford, MS was born in St. Louis, MO in 1929 and died on October 31, 2021, at Sanctuary Hospice House in Tupelo, MS.
She graduated from Withrow High School in Cincinnati, OH. Her years of study included extensive work in two disciplines at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. She attended Ballet Arts in New York City and Maryland College for Women and furthered her ballet study in the late 1940s with the New York Ballet School.
A 1950 marriage to a USNA Carrier Pilot ended in early 1955 as she was awarded a California divorce. During the Korean War her early Grey Lady volunteer work led to trauma physical therapy work in three Navy hospitals: NAS Jacksonville, FL, NAS Pensacola, FL and Fort Ord in California. From late 1955 to mid 1957 she was a stewardess for American Airlines based in New York. She flew out of Idlewild (now JFK) and LaGuardia airports on the DC6 and DC7 plus the CONVAIR. She maintained her membership in the American Airlines Kiwi Club.
In June 1957 she married L.A. “Red” Niedfeldt, a USNA graduate and businessman. For many years they maintained homes in Pebble Beach, CA where they were members of Monterey Peninsula Golf and County Club and La Quinta, CA. Yearly golf trips to Scotland and world travel were their avid interests.
She was a member of the Hillsdale College President’s Club. A men’s residence hall at Hillsdale College which bears Red and Phyllis’s names was dedicated in 1990. Each year thereafter Phyllis gave a dinner for the 55 “Niedfeldt Fellows” plus a discussion brunch.
She relocated to Oxford in 1995 after the death of her husband in 1990. She enjoyed attending the Young At Heart Bible Study at First Baptist church of Oxford. She was a member of the Lafayette County Republican Women’s Club, the David Reese Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and was a recipient of the California State PTA Achievement Award in earlier years. She volunteered her time and service at the local Veterans Administration Nursing Home in Oxford for a number of years.
Phyllis was preceded in death by her daughter, Lindsay A. Niedfeldt who died in 2010 and her brother, Paul L. Westerfield who died in 2020. Survivors include three grandchildren, Bailey A. Sitts, Corbett A. Niedfeldt and Wheeler A. Niedfeldt all of whom reside in Oregon; four great grandchildren Olivia Sitts, Tobias Sitts, Jacob Freedman, and Joseph Freedman; two nieces, Mary Ellen Grass of Beavercreek, OH, Miss Phyllis Westerfield of Dayton, OH; one nephew, Paul B. Westerfield of Tampa, FL and five great nieces.
A memorial service will be held at a later date. Inurnment with her late husband will take place at a later date at the USNA Columbarium in Annapolis, MD.
Memorial contributions in Mrs. Niedfeldt’s memory may be made to Hillsdale College Scholarship Fund, 33 East College Street, Hillsdale, MI 49242 or Guide Dogs for the Blind, Attn: Donations Department, P.O. Box 151200, San Rafael, CA 94915-1200.