On January 30, 2019, Phyllis Sawyer New passed away in Port Charlotte, FL. Phyllis was born March 24, 1921, in Algona to Floyd and Beate Sawyer. Along with nature, she loved playing the clarinet and performed in bands throughout her life. After attending the University of Minnesota, Phyllis married and had two children—Michael and Miriam “Mickie.” Following a divorce, she married Horace “Bill” New in 1948. He adopted her children, and they had a third, Richard “Casey.”


The family lived on a farm in Nevada, IA, where they hosted the Farm Progress Show in 1980. They spent three years living and farming in northwest Spain, where Bill and his son Casey initiated a soybean project. Phyllis and Bill moved to Punta Gorda, FL, in 1988. Following Bill’s death in 2000, she moved to Port Charlotte, where she continued her music and artwork.


Survivors include her two children and their spouses, Mickie and Terry Sexsmith and Casey and Terry New. Phyllis leaves behind four grandchildren, Jennifer New, Chris Sexsmith, Haley New, and Casey R. New and two great-grandchildren, Isabella and Tobias Epstein.