Phyllis Jean (Thornton) Ernsperger, 64

Published 9:04am Thursday, May 30, 2013

Born: July 27, 1948

Died: May 24, 2013

Phyllis Jean Ernsperger, 64, of Niles, passed away at Lakeland Hospital in Niles on Friday, May 24, 2013.

Phyllis was born on July 27, 1948, in Niles, to the late Clarence and Betty (Petersen) Thornton.  She was one of four children growing up in the Thornton household.

After graduating from Niles High School, Phyllis went on to proudly serve her country in the U.S. Army.  After coming home from the army, Phyllis went on to attend Southwestern Michigan College in the early 1980s while raising four young children.  When she was younger, she loved to bowl but, later in life, her interest became gardening.  She had flower and vegetable gardens that she enjoyed sharing with her family.  She loved spending time with her four precious grandchildren and her pets.

She is preceded in death by her parents; husband, Roger Ernsperger; brothers Michael and Mark Thornton; and sister, Christine Thornton.

Phyllis is survived by her children, Christopher Rice, of Niles, Stacy (A.J.) Ernsperger, of South Bend, Ind., Elizabeth (Terry Lintz) Ernsperger, of Niles, and Patricia (Clay Asbury) Ernsperger, of Niles; and four grandchildren, Elijah, Madisen, Avery and Emilee.

In keeping with Phyllis’ wishes, she has been cremated and her family will be holding a private memorial service.

Those wishing to leave a message for the family, upload a photo of Phyllis or send their condolences may do so on our website at or on our Facebook page at

Arrangements have been entrusted to Brown Funeral Home & Cremation Services of Niles.

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