Phyllis Ann Cleven

April 28, 1932February 9, 2021

Phyllis Ann Cleven (Bergren), age 88, of Silverdale, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, February 9, 2021 from complications after a fall.

She was born to Axel and Alice Bergren, April 28, 1932, in Superior, Wisconsin. When she was just a few years old, the family moved to southern California living in the areas of Burbank and Santa Ana. Phyllis attended Santa Ana Community College for a year before moving to the Pacific Northwest to attend Pacific Lutheran College, where she graduated in 1954. Phyllis began teaching elementary school in the Shoreline School District, where she met and married Lloyd Cleven, in 1955, who preceded her in death in 2013.

Phyllis taught first grade in the Shoreline School District, and then raised three children in the Edmonds area before eventually moving to Silverdale in 1965. From 1969-1992 she taught first grade at both the original Silverdale Elementary School (now the Jenne Wright building), as well as at Clear Creek Elementary.

Over the years Phyllis was active at both the Sons of Norway (Grieg Hall in Poulsbo) and the Sons of Norway (Oslo Lodge in Bremerton). While serving at the Poulsbo Lodge, she taught children’s Norwegian folk dancing for many years. At the Bremerton Lodge she was the longest serving cultural director and enthusiastically helped to organize and participate in their many cultural events (Viking Fests parades, Syttende Mai parades, cookie making, Kaffestue, music concerts, Santa Lucia and Starboy presentations) just to name a few. Phyllis was also a founding member of the Daughters of Norway (Nina Grieg Hall #40 in Poulsbo).

An active and devoted member of Silverdale Lutheran Church, Phyllis always sought out opportunities for spiritual growth. Beyond weekly worship, she embraced every opportunity to attend classes, read, and engage in lively conversations about what she had learned. Her enthusiasm for learning inspired many, and kept her connected to her faith and fellowship even in the challenging Covid times.

Phyllis treasured her family and embraced every moment with them. Children and grandchildren could count on her cheerful presence at every family event. Holidays were especially joyful times for Phyllis to spend time with family, and everyone looked forward to her signature sugar cookies, sandbakkels, krumkake, Swedish meatballs and gingerbread. The annual family “Uff Da Fests” have always provided a chance for extended family to reconnect each summer, and she was an integral part of making sure that everyone valued and treasured their family connections.

A “country girl” at heart, Phyllis loved the out-of-doors. Being married to an avid outdoorsman meant that life was never dull. She loved to fish, and enjoyed retelling the many stories of some of the harrowing adventures that the family experienced when searching for the “ultimate” fishing spots. Gardening was also one of her passions, and visitors would most often find her on her patio tending a myriad of flowers, herbs, and other plant friends. There was always something to tend, no matter the season, and even on the coldest of winter days, she would look forward to planning for spring.

Phyllis is preceded in death by her husband of 58 years, Lloyd. She is survived by her sons Greg (Jennifer) Cleven and Mark (Brenda) Cleven; her daughter Randi (Joel) Johnson; eight grandchildren Kyle, Mari, Erik, Katie, Christian, Elise, Jennifer (Bryan) and Anthony (Mandy); and one great-granddaughter, Kennedy.

While her season of life has drawn to a close, we take solace in knowing that she was able to visit with all of her immediate family in her last few days, and was able to share memories (as well as some advice) with all of them. In her own words, “I’ve had a beautiful life!” Thank you Mom, Grandma, Phyllis, for making the lives of your family and friends so beautiful too.

A service will be held later this spring.

The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Daughters of Norway to support their scholarship fund. Donations should be made to the Daughters of Norway and include a note that they are for Scholarship Fund. Donations may be mailed to Joanne Gray, PO Box 8399, Lacey, WA 98509.


  • Daughters of Norway


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Phyllis Ann Cleven

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Bill Crews

February 20, 2021

So sorry for the loss of Phyllis. She was a great friend, and helped us to learn Scandinavian dancing during our 23 year friendship at the Sons of Norway. My wife and I also enjoyed having coffee with her on afternoons when we would go to the Mall in Silverdale for walks during less than enchanting weather. We hope your journey west was comforting to you. We will never forget you.

Bill and Mary Kay