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She was born on February 12, 1935, in McAlester, Oklahoma, to Italian immigrants, Sara (Giacomo) and Joseph Testa, and was the middle of five children and the only girl. Phyllis attended St. John's Catholic High School in McAlester and earned a bachelor's degree in Home Economics from the University of Oklahoma. There, she met and married Robert Killian of Bartlesville. Together, they had six children. She was widowed in 1970 and later married James Steichen, who died in 1977. In 1982, Phyllis married David Lambert of Stillwater, and he adopted all the children. They celebrated thirty-seven wonderful years of marriage and enjoyed supporting Oklahoma State University (OSU) athletics and traveling the world together. Their deep and enduring love, even through Phyllis's many health challenges, continually inspired her friends and family.
Phyllis expressed her artistic passions through her lovely watercolor paintings, beautiful piano playing, and delicious Italian cooking. She was a founding member and former president of Friends of Music. Phyllis served on the Board of Directors for the Stillwater Country Club and was a member of the Women's Golf Association and was elated to have made a hole-in-one. Faith and prayer were important to Phyllis, and she was a dedicated member of St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, where she had served as a Eucharistic Minister and on the Altar Society.
She is survived by her husband, their six children, and ten grandchildren: Kimberly Love, her husband Jim, and their children, Scott and Sara, of Tulsa; John Lambert, his wife Kathryn, and their children, Megan and Melanie, of Edmond; Larry Lambert, his wife Jennifer of Plano, Texas, and their son Chris Russell and his wife Tamaryn; Kelly Smith, her husband Brent, and their children, Mark and Kyle of Tonkawa; Kathy Atkins, her husband Dennis and their children, Matthew, David, and Amanda of Edmond; and Kristy Lambert of Prairie Village, Kansas. She is also survived by her brothers Albert Testa and his wife Joyce of Sanger, Texas; William Testa of Montgomery, Alabama; and Lawrence Testa and his wife Juanice of Hugo. She is predeceased by her brother Sylvester Testa of Dallas, Texas.
The family thanks Phyllis's caregiver, Melissa Kennedy, her other caregivers, and medical professionals.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the OSU Friends of Music, St. Francis Xavier Early Childhood Development Center Endowment, or the charity of your choice.
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