Cover photo for Phyllis W. McQuaid's Obituary
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Phyllis W. McQuaid

March 6, 1928 — June 7, 2023

Roseville

Phyllis W. McQuaid

McQuaid, Phyllis W. (Haas)

Age 95, of St. Louis Park, died peacefully on June 7, 2023. This small town, rural Minnesota girl was born in Frazee in 1928, and went on to accomplish extraordinary things. After graduating from high school, she traveled east to New Hampshire seeking adventure. While working at the Manchester Union Leader, Phyllis met Joe McQuaid and was immediately charmed by his twinkling eyes and wry humor. In their 43 years of marriage, she and Joe raised 8 children, emphasizing education, kindness, laughter, music, the importance of friendship, and faith in God. In 1961, they bought their first house in the Brookside neighborhood of St. Louis Park. Phyllis was elected to the St. Louis Park School Board in 1975, after rallying her community against the closing of a local school, and served on the Board until 1979. She proudly served as the first woman mayor of St. Louis Park from 1979 until 1982, and remained a strong advocate for the community for the rest of her life. Phyllis next was elected to the Minnesota Senate in 1982, where she represented District 44 with her unique flair until 1990. Humor, intelligence, modesty, and a penchant for public speaking contributed to her popularity. She was always prepared. Among her accomplishments, she was an early champion of light rail transit in the Twin Cities, and she was thrilled to ride the LRT Blue Line (Hiawatha Line) on opening day in 2004. Active throughout her life in her church, civic, and social organizations, Phyllis was a force of nature - a spirited community organizer, who believed that people can accomplish great things when they work together. She was also a creative entrepreneur who will be remembered by many for her polar fleece projects. And yet, with all this, Phyllis felt her greatest accomplishment was being the mother of 8 resourceful, compassionate children. She was immensely proud of her many grandchildren and great grandchildren. There was nothing more important to her than being with her family. She will be deeply missed, for she has been dearly loved.

Preceded in death by her parents: Ray and Viola Haas, her siblings: Marian Cole, Kenneth Haas, Robert Haas, and her husband, Joe.  Survived by children: Joanne Hinderaker (Allen), Susan (Patricia Beck), Kenneth (Rosemary), Amy McQuaid-Swanson (Douglas), Meredith (Brad Delapena), Daniel (Elizabeth), Paul (Shantel), Margaret Weir (Timothy), and grandchildren: David Hinderaker, Emily Hinderaker, Joseph McQuaid, Rachel Tanner, Elizabeth Lawrence, Courtney Swanson, Sam McQuaid, Ellen McQuaid, Eve Martinson-McQuaid, Cecelia Gandier, Benjamin Weir, and 11 great grandchildren, numerous nieces and nephews and their families.

Funeral Mass will be held on Friday, July 14 at 2:00 p.m. at Saint Gabriel the Archangel, 1300 Mainstreet, Hopkins, MN 55343, with visitation beginning at 1:00 p.m.  A celebration of life will be held immediately after the Mass, from 3:30 p.m.- 6:00 p.m. at Minneapolis Golf Club, 2001 Flag Avenue, St. Louis Park, MN 55426. Sign language interpreters provided. Memorials preferred to St. Louis Park Emergency Program: STEP (https://stepslp.org), or the St. Louis Park Historical Society (https://slphistory.org), or another charity of choice in Phyllis’ name.

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Past Services

Visitation

Friday, July 14, 2023

1:00 - 2:00 pm (Central time)

St. Gabriel the Archangel Catholic Church -

1300 Mainstreet, Hopkins, MN 55343

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

Funeral Mass

Friday, July 14, 2023

Starts at 2:00 pm (Central time)

St. Gabriel the Archangel Catholic Church -

1300 Mainstreet, Hopkins, MN 55343

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

Celebration of Life

Friday, July 14, 2023

3:30 - 6:00 pm (Central time)

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

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