Staff Highlight: Phyllis Howard

At the Retirement Specialty Group office, Phyllis is an important part of the team – she processes paperwork for clients, transfers funds, manages withdrawals, and also helps with a myriad of other things.

Outside of the office she leads an interesting life as a wife, mother, grandmother, missionary, Bible teacher, calf wrangler and more. Born and raised in Cookeville, TN, Phyllis currently lives in Sparta, TN with her husband Ted…

…and a motley crew of beef cattle, a border collie named Toby, Dunkey the miniature donkey, and Jack Cat the cat. Here’s an inside peek:

Tell us about your farm and what your role is in helping Ted!

We raise beef cattle and hay.  I help with the bi-annual working of the cattle, and when there are problems with calving, or specific cows or calves need special attention.

Our first set of twins

When I am not at work (at RSG!), I also help Ted harvest the hay – usually 4-cuttings per year.  My specific job is to rake and haul in the six-foot rolls.  There is always something to do on the farm; it is never dull and always gives you a good workout and keeps you moving and active.

You’ve spent time as a missionary in Africa. Will you tell us about your experiences there?

Ted & I have been blessed to be used in ministry in the Mt Elgon area of Kenya, Africa.  We’ve been on 4 mission trips where we both taught and ministered to people in outdoor crusades, at bush churches that were actually just pole barns, or under trees.

Ministering in Africa

We’ve gone hut to hut in the bush as well as to small villages, helping with food distribution on the Mountain after the tribal wars in 2008. We’ve also held 2-3 day pastoral and women’s conferences.  Each trip has been uniquely different, challenging, and extremely special.  There are no words that can truly describe the experiences we have been blessed to be a part of or the people who have stolen our hearts.  Would we go again? Absolutely, when our Father tells us to go.

Will you tell us about being a mom and grandmother…and recently a great-grandmother to your family?

Being a mom is the most important job I have ever had and the greatest blessing my Father has ever given to me.  The experiences and memories far outweigh anything that I have ever had.  I am extremely proud of my son, Bo, and my stepson, Scott.

Being a “Nonya” and “Ma P” is the next best thing in my life.  My grandchildren are truly “grand”!

Jack having fun at RSG

The newest addition – great-grandson Zayne.

Bo and his wife Brooke have one son, Jack who is five years old and continues to bring me joy and make me smile all the time.  To Jack, I am Nonya.

Phyllis & Ted and some of the grandkids!

Scott and his wife Tami have two daughters (Amanda and Bekah) and one son (Trevor).  Amanda and her husband Kai live in Dallas, and Bekah attends Texas A&M University.   Trevor and his wife Sadie also live in Dallas and have a new son, Zayne, who was born September of 2017!  To all of them I am Ma P.

We’ve always had wonderful times and made great memories together – they tell me I spoil them a lot – but isn’t that what a grandma is supposed to do?

Thanks so much Phyllis, for everything you do at RSG and for sharing about your life! If you’d like to get in touch with her, feel free to call the office at 931-738-4733, or email her at

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