Phillip 'Phil' Muench

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Phillip J. “Phil” Muench, 52, passed away peacefully on Thursday, Dec. 10, 2020, surrounded by his family after a hard-fought battle with COVID-19.

He was born on Jan. 22, 1968, the son of Gary and Barbara (Bendorf) Muench in Lancaster. Phil grew up on the family farm on Boice Creek, where he took pride in helping his dad with an agriculture project that came to be known as Muench’s Pond. He graduated from Lancaster High School in 1986. On May 17, 2003, Phil married Holly Pribnow at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Mayville. He began a 32-year career at the Grant County Herald Independent in Lancaster in 1988. With the guidance of his mentor and best friend, Bill Hale, Phil quickly took over as head pressman. He thought of his coworkers as his work family, and often described his job as a hobby because of his love for it. Phil was invested not only in his job, but he was also invested in his life with his wife and children. He was an incredible and supportive husband and father. Phil took great pride in each of his children and loved spending time with his family. He especially enjoyed spending time with family and friends on the Mississippi River. Phil had a love for food and was an amazing cook. He had a heart of gold, a huge hug, and an even bigger smile. Phil will be profoundly missed by many.

Survivors include his wife, Holly; his children, Stephanie (Dakota) Bernhardt, Wyatt and Ava; his sister, Marie (John) Wamsley; his brothers, Matt (Chris Udelhoven), Jim (Kelly) and Mark (Melissa) Muench; his step-father, Gary (Connie) Landon; his step-siblings, Ted (Kathy) and Debbie Landon; Holly’s parents, Lynne (Andy) Klemme and Rodney (Dee) Pribnow; Holly’s sisters, Amanda (Brad Wunderlin) Sisley and Kimberly (Jeremy) Moore; Holly’s grandparents, Reuben and Arlene Pribnow; many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins.

Phil was preceded in death by his parents, Gary and Barb; his grandparents, Donald and Mildred Bendorf and Leo and Helen Muench; Holly’s grandparents, William and Gertrude Benter; and his dear friend, Bill (Josephine Pebworth) Hale.

Private family funeral services will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 16, at Martin Schwartz Funeral Home and Crematory in Lancaster. Private family burial will be in Hillside Cemetery, Lancaster. In lieu of plants and flowers, a Phillip J. Muench Memorial Fund has been established. 

We wish to extend our sincere appreciation to Doctor Eric Slane, Doctor Robert Smith, nurses and staff at Grant Regional Health Center, MedFlight, and the nurses and numerous doctors at Meriter Hospital in Madison for the care given to Phil and our family.

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