Obituary of Phyllis E. Hegney
On May 1, 2023, Phyllis Hegney (Grammie), at the age of 101, danced out of this worldly life for her next adventure, once again into the arms of her beloved George. Phyllis and her friends were going to a dance with plans to meet a group of soldiers. George asked her to dance. That was all it took. He chose well that evening in a little Welsh village. Phyllis loved life, most especially, her family. It was hard to leave her parents, siblings and close friends in Wales, but she was smitten by her American GI. The adventure began. As a new bride, she sailed the Atlantic with many others who were headed to a new life. Her first port of call was NYC, where George was waiting for her. But a few years later they found themselves in the Valley and this became home. Still, she made many trips back to spend time with those she’d left behind and all the new children that came along. She was beloved by all of them. Hard working and responsible, still Phyllis looked for the fun in whatever she took on. If she caring for her grandchildren, there would be a card game. She enjoyed her work buddies in Green Hills produce, laughed more than allowed on the golf course with her best friend Irene Apps, excelled at Scrabble and always pitched in at St. Andrew’s Church, and could pack her bags in a snap if a road trip popped up. Proud of her American citizenship, she traveled to see as much of our country as she could. Phyllis did a bit of international travel as well, beyond the UK. It was part of her adventure. Wherever she went, Phyllis made new friends and she always left a lasting impression. Outgoing doesn’t begin to describe Phyllis; she prided herself on being a “good mixer”. If there was dancing, all -the better. In her later years she especially enjoyed a lively wedding reception, music and young men who were happy to get her out on the dance floor. And so, she met everyone, and they always remembered her. Did we say had friends? She always had many, but Justin Edinger was her special friend for many years. She resisted at first, but finally couldn’t say no to his offer of a golf game. It was the beginning of the companionship, continuing until Justin’s passing at age 97. In her later years, she lamented the loss of her contemporaries, left only with Irene, until recently, Dick Apps (Who are the family our parents chose!) and her brother in Christ, Ed Stone. But her friendships have never been confined to an age group and so she has many caring for her still. The thing she loved most was being matriarch of our family. Her embrace was wide – welcoming whoever came into our blended families. Only two daughters (“perfect daughters” she once said) who brought her many grandchildren, great grandchildren and great-great grandchildren as the family tree branched out. Phyllis will be sorely missed and fondly remembered by many, especially daughters; Phyllis and Georgina, grandchildren; Bill, Kelley, Alex, Adrienne, Cindy and George, many great and great-great grandchildren; and adopted daughter; Lucy Miller. A heartfelt thank you to Carolyn Kocher and Joan Shaw, who lovingly and faithfully helped with Grammie’s care and enhanced her well being.
Calling hours will be held on Sunday, May 21st from 11 AM to 2 PM at Ballweg and Lunsford Funeral Home, 4612 S. Salina St. Syracuse, NY 13205. A memorial service will follow at 3 PM at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 301 Montgomery St. Syracuse. (Corner of Fayette and Montgomery) Burial will be private.
There will be a gathering at 5 PM at the Valley American Legion Post 1468, on Academy St. where Phyllis was proud to be a life member, to share a meal and special memeroies.
For those wishing to make a donation in memory of Phyllis, she requested all to be sent to Friends of Wildlife (Webster’s Pond), 2004 Valley Dr. Syracuse, NY 13207