Aileen Phyllis Else

Funeral services for Aileen Phyllis Else, 91, Lawrence, will be held at 2:00 pm on Friday August 28, 2015, at Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home, the Rev. Dr. Shannah McAleer officiating. Burial will follow at Oak Hill Cemetery.

Aileen passed away on Saturday, August 22, 2015, at Medicalodges in Eudora, surrounded by family. Aileen was born July 11, 1924, in Lawrence, KS, the daughter of Oliver Henry and Bessie Maude Wilson Evans. She attended Barker School in Lawrence. During WW2 she worked at the Hercules Powder Company where she met William L. Holliday and they were married in 1955. He preceded her in death in 1967. She later married Roy Coffman, who died in 1969. In 1971, she married Wendell Else, who preceded her in death in 1977. From 1944 to 1999, she was self-employed in several different businesses.

Aileen grew up on a farm during the Great Depression. She had an incredibly clever mind and a wild, adventurous spirit. She began a lucrative, albeit underground bootlegging operation during Kansas prohibition days. After the sale of alcohol was legalized, she turned that bootlegging ring into a successful business with Holliday Liquor Store then later Else’s Liquor store. She successfully ran these businesses for 40 years with only an 8th grade education. She endured the heartache of losing 3 husbands, 2 sisters and 1 brother. She was strong, generous, honest, beautiful and fierce. She loved dogs, bluebirds, and Cowboys, especially John Wayne. She had movie-star beauty and impeccable business sense, but she was also incredibly humble, vulnerable and kind. In the end, there are really no words to do her justice. An indescribable force has left this world and those of us who knew her will miss her forever.

Survivors include two daughters: Phyllis Payne and husband, Ed Payne, Lawrence; Toni Neff and husband, Jamie Neff, Reno, Nevada; five grandchildren: Yara Nielsenshultz, Maya Vance, Zabrina Doerck, Laurel Douglas and Tyler Neff; 3 siblings: brother Philip Evans, sisters Doris Marshall and Virginia Curtis; 6 step-children: Carol Holliday Williams, Michael Holliday, Wendell Robert Else, Jr, Kaye Exler, Delores Ortega and Dennis Else. She was also proud to have lived to see the births of 7 great grandchildren and 16 step-grandchildren. Preceding her in death are sisters Olive Maude Pickett, Mary E Clark, brother, Elmo Forest Evans; and 3 step-children, Duaine Else, Sheryl Parks, Danny Else and 2 step grandchildren and 1 great grandson.

Friends may call from noon to 8 pm Thursday, where the family will receive them from 6:30 to 7:30, at Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home.

Family suggests memorial contributions made to the Lawrence Humane Society, Grace Hospice, or American Lung Association, sent in care of Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home, 601 Indiana St. Lawrence, KS 66044.