Phyllis Margrete Pajonk (Johnson) died on August 11th, 2020. She was 66 years old.Phyllis was born in Duluth, Minnesota on January 26th, 1954. Phyllis graduated Cum Laude from the University of Massachusetts with a BA in Chinese History and was a proud card-carrying member of the Phi Betta Kappa Society. Phyllis met her husband Jeff while hitchhiking on Interstate 35 just outside of Rush City. Thus, began their shared life of love, rebellion, knowledge-seeking and psychoactive drugs (especially cannabis), forging lasting habits of mischief, thrills and quotidian bliss. A true-blue, dyed-in-the-wool polymath, Phyllis was a director of a nonprofit that serves single mothers and their career pursuits, a lapidary and cogent writer of prose, an exquisite chalk painter, and a most-fearsome archer of scorching missives directed at an all-too-often maladroit medical community. She completed the Sunday NYT crossword in pen religiously, followed professional tennis with an unmatched fervor, and despite her mastery of the nuances of the English language, had a penchant for delighting-in employing the F-word to hammer a point home, which was frequent and often. Though Phyllis often lamented a world saddled with nincompoops and knuckleheads, she relished the company of a few of the “good” ones. Those of us who had the good fortune to occupy the latter category, were treated to a friend, aunt, great-aunt, or sister of boundless love and caring. What made Phyllis so special to those that knew and loved her was how genuinely and deeply she cared for the ones that she loved. Phyllis died at her home, just as she had wished. Upon this, were she here with us now, she would simply say “Groovy Baby” and light-up. She will be missed. There will be no service.
A fixture in the Twin Cities music and theater scene for decades,