Phyllis finally made the Obits section. She was an avid reader. Most medical professionals are especially those in long-term care for seniors. They look for a recognizable name or face and try to fit in those final pieces of a patient’s life and who they were before they got sick and old. It’s a puzzle and Phyllis loved solving puzzles. There was always a puzzle book tucked under an arm when she stepped outside for a cigarette and a Diet Pepsi between Law & Order episodes. Sounds easy, but life was hard for her. Phyllis could put a 40hr work week into a weekend, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. How about we start with the edge pieces and work our way in?
Phyllis Maria Quinn was born August 10th, 1946, and died March 17, 2021. Her life was complicated. Phyllis was an incredible nurse for 30+ years, but a terrible patient. If you needed $5 and all she had was $4, she’d run to the car and get the rest from the ashtray. If it didn’t come in a box or freezer bag, she couldn’t cook it, yet her holiday seasoned snack mix is infamous. She spent hours creating plastic canvas novelties and sold them at street fairs, but rarely charged enough to pay for the booth rental. She married three times, divorced three times, was the mother of three, grandmother to 10, and a mom taxi for all of us. She always cared for others over her own health and over the years, she offered some life hacks that we need to share. These tips aren’t destined to change the world, but put these to use and you’re gonna live a full life too. She’d hate this, but a working title is “The Phyllis-ophy of Life:”
* Take frequent breaks. Go sit on the porch and have a smoke. It’s a good chance to spy on the neighbors.
* If you’re supposed to be somewhere by 4, better leave by 2:30, even if it’s only a 10-minute drive. Better to be an hour early, than 5 mins late.
* Never throw away margarine containers.
* The only acceptable answer to a grandchild’s request… “Why Suuure.”
* For perfect Pizza Rolls, cook the entire bag at 425º for 20mins. If the roof of your mouth isn’t burnt after 1st bite, put ‘em back in.
* Got a pile of something of any size or shape? Well, Rubbermaid makes a tub for that.
* You only need one winter hat. Knit your own and wear it every day. Builds character.
* If the gas is under 1/3 of a tank, consider it a crisis and fill it up immediately.
* Want to get a full night’s sleep? Lay on one side and keep one foot out from under the covers.
* You can never have enough pens, highlighters, markers, or scissors.
We’re gonna miss the peccadilloes that made Phyllis, a daughter, sister, veteran, registered nurse, mother, farmer, grandmother, college graduate (yes, these are in order. She received her degree in 2001 at the age of 55), businesswoman, retiree, and a modern medical miracle. Phyllis had a medical history longer than a pharmacy receipt and fought through unimaginable pain with multiple surgeries and extensive rehabilitation. She always battled back. And while some will say that cancer took her life, that’s just fake news. The tumors didn’t take her from us, it was just her time and she’d rather be early than late. Stegall-Berheide-Orr Funeral Home is handling arrangements. On-line condolences may be sent to the family via the guest book at stegallberheideorr.com.