Phyllis Gullickson


Emmett KratzkePhyllis A. Gullickson age 96 of Tracy passed away Saturday, January 17, 2015 at the Golden Living Center in Slayton. Memorial services will be at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, February 7 at the Tracy Area Funeral Home. Visitation is one hour prior to services at the funeral home. Online condolences may be sent at Stephens Funeral Service – Tracy Area Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.

Phyllis Amelia (Kolbe) Gullickson was born in Raymond, Minnesota on January 7, 1919 to Arthur W. and Tillie (Wendland) Kolbe. She attended beauty school in Minneapolis and began a long career as a hairdresser. She followed her parents when they moved to a farm near Garvin in 1939. There she met and married Orville J. Gullickson of Tracy on July 18, 1941. They had one daughter, Karen. After Orville was discharged from the army in 1945, they owned and operated the Neon Inn, expanding the original gas station to include a café and restaurant that held weekly dances. Many well-known old-time musicians entertained at the Neon. During the Neon years, Phyllis established a beauty shop in their home at 675 Third Street, Tracy, which she operated until she retired. She loved helping clients look their best as well as the social aspect of running her “shop.” She was also a member of the VFW and the Tracy United Methodist Church. Phyllis and Orville spent their retirement years alternating between homes in Tracy and Mesa, Arizona. Eventually they abandoned the snowbird life and moved full time to Mesa. There she enjoyed tending her fruit trees and making pies. She also developed an interest in needlework. As the years past they moved permanently back to Tracy.

Besides her husband of 73 years, daughter Karen, and son-in-law John T. Booker of Lawrence, Kansas, she is survived by two brothers, Delbert (wife Betty) and Merrill (wife Norma) Kolbe, both residing in Arizona, and five nieces and nephews. Phyllis was preceded in death by a sister Teresa and a brother Werner Kolbe.



  1. Diane Woodford says

    Our sympathy to Phyllis’ family. When we lived in Walnut Grove years ago I’d go and have Cousin Phyllis do my hair on occasion. When her mother, my aunt Tillie (my dad’s sister), was alive we visited a time or two. May God surround you all with his loving arms in this time of sorrow. In sympathy,
    John and Diane (Wendland) Woodford
    Redwood Falls, MN

  2. Shelley Fiegen says

    Deepest sympathy to Phyllis’ family, Orville, daughter Karen and family. I’m one of the Osland children that lived next to Phyllis and Orville in Tracy. Back when we were growing up I remember the ladies coming and going from Phyllis’s shop – especially on a Saturday. I remember back in 1979 I was getting a haircut and the Rupert Holmes, Escape song (aka Pina Colada song) came on the radio and the ladies were singing to it – that was a fun time. I remember Phyllis always looking to so nice and her hair done :o) Loving memories of your mother / wife.
    Sympathies from the Osland Family

  3. Doug Kolbe says

    We are so sorry to hear of Phyllis’ death. She was always so gracious when the family of James Kolbe stopped in Tracy for a visit. We always enjoyed the whole Art Kolbe family.

  4. Nancy Zens Sundahl says

    My sympathy to Orville, Karen, and family. Phyllis did my hair when I was young and I always wanted it like Karen’s who I thought was the epitome of fashion. I believe my dad, Wilfrid Zens and Orville were friends. My cousins would come stay with us and work at the Neon Inn in the summer. Great memories! Phyllis was always so gracious and lovely.
    I had no idea that she was in Slayton, if I had, I would have visited her. God Bless her!

  5. Melba Pack says

    Please accept my sympathy to you. My husband and I always enjoyed eating at their cafes. When we were in Arizona we played cards with them every Monday night as well as doing other things with them. She was a lovely lady. I send my love and blessings. Melba

  6. Our deepest sympathy Orville and family. So many fond memories Of Phyllis. God Bless and peace to the family
    Earl and Barb

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