Cover photo for Phyllis Jean Markham's Obituary
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1941 Phyllis Markham 2024

Phyllis Jean Markham

May 25, 1941 — March 1, 2024


Phyllis Jean Markham age 82 of Merna, NE passed away peacefully at the Jennie M Melham Memorial Medical Center in Broken Bow on Friday, March 1, 2024.

Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, March 6, 2024, at 10:30 AM at the Govier Brothers Mortuary in Broken Bow.  Burial will be in the Merna Cemetery.  Govier Brothers Mortuary is in charge of the arrangements.  Memorials are kindly suggested to the Merna Park Fund, Merna United Methodist Church, or the Merna Fire and Rescue.  A visitation will be held on Tuesday, 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM with family greeting friends from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM at Govier Brothers.  

Phyllis was born on May 25, 1941, to Lyle and Kathyrn (Pokorney) Waffensmith in Litchfield, NE. During Phyllis’s younger age, she lived in Edgemont, South Dakota where her father’s employment with BN Railroad took them. Later his employment moved them to the Anselmo-Merna area. She graduated from Merna High School in 1959. After graduating from high school, she attended Grand Island School of Cosmetology. After graduating from college, she returned to the area and worked for Lavonne’s Beauty Salon in Broken Bow. She met Jimmie D Markham, and they married in Merna, NE on March 25, 1961.

To this union six children were born Michelle Santos (Rogaciano) of Merna, Kimberly Christen (Dale) of Ravenna, James Markham (Cindy) of Merna, Allison Lempka (Larry) of Minden, Jennifer Lewis (Russell) of Lincoln, and Robert Markham married Lisa Rynearson in which he passed in 2015.

Phyllis worked in Merna for Mary’s Beauty Salon and Margaret Schlund’s Beauty Shop. After Margaret retired, Phyllis moved into her home and took over the beauty shop.

Jim passed away at an early age of 53 years leaving her to care for Jennifer and Robert independently, she then worked as a waitress on Sundays at the Lobby Restaurant and helping at Bob’s Liquor Store for her uncle Dallas and aunt Ann Bury.

Phyllis was passionate and took a lot of pride in her profession, she was known to give the best shampoos.

Phyllis “Mom” was always concerned for her children and worried about her grandchildren. After Robert’s death, Phyllis’s health started to decline. The kids demanded that she retire her “Scissors”. Following her hospitalization, she moved in with Shelly and Santos until her death. She will be missed by her family and friends. Phyllis had an attachment to Shelly’s cats. Phyllis always had compassion for animals. The ability to love animals has been carried through by some of her children.

Phyllis is survived by her sister Judith Brass of Cozad, sister-in-law Glenna Markham of Aurora, and a host of nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Phyllis was not only preceded in death by her husband Jim, her son Robert, her father and mother, step-grandson Neil, and numerous others.

Phyllis was the charter member of the Mixing Mamas Extension Club; she attended Merna Methodist Church and Merna UMW. 




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Service Schedule

Past Services


Tuesday, March 5, 2024

10:00am - 7:00 pm (Central time)

Govier Brothers Mortuary & Cremation

542 South 9th Ave., Broken Bow, NE 68822

Family greeting 5:00 to 7:00 PM

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Wednesday, March 6, 2024

10:30 - 11:30 am (Central time)

Govier Brothers Mortuary & Cremation

542 South 9th Ave., Broken Bow, NE 68822

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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