Phyllis Ann (Paul) Rhoads, 92, passed away November 13, 2017, at her home, surrounded by her family.
She was born in Portland on March 4, 1925, the daughter of Seneca Arthur Paul and Ruth Elizabeth (Nichols) Paul.
Phyllis grew up in Portland and attended Deering High School. When she was a senior in high school, her family moved to Falmouth Foreside, but she finished her senior year in Portland. She spent her summers at her family's cottage on Pine Point. Here, she developed a love for the ocean that would last a lifetime. She was an avid rider and a member of the Deering High School Equestrian Team.
Phyllis went on to attend Chamberlain Merchandising School in Boston, Massachusetts, graduating in 1945. She loved the city life in Boston, but returned to Maine to attend Portland Business School. At a friend's wedding, she was reintroduced to her kindergarten classmate, Robert B. Rhoads, who would become the love of her life. They were married in 1948.
Phyllis worked for the phone company in Bangor to help her husband complete his degrees at the University of Maine. Bob's career then took Phyllis and their newborn daughter to Detroit for a year before returning to Maine to raise a family. Phyllis and Bob purchased a 140-acre horse farm in Old Town, where Phyllis devoted herself to making a beautiful and loving home for her husband and four daughters.
Phyllis chose to be a stay-at-home mom so she could always be there for her daughters. The smell of fresh baked cookies and bread was always in the air. The cupboards were always stocked with cans of homemade preserves and vegetables. Nightly dinners were a special time to share each other's company and enjoy a delicious home-cooked meal.
Phyllis was her daughters' best friend and biggest supporter. Long walks, bike rides, shopping trips, ocean adventures, working in the garden, and caring for the horses were just a few of the special activities that Phyllis shared with her daughters. Phyllis was always there for her daughters when they needed advice or someone to confide in. She taught them that no challenge was too great to overcome. Phyllis was a strong woman whose encouragement, compassion, and empathy made her a role model for all and helped her family to deal with whatever obstacles they faced.
Phyllis was active in serving her community through her church, the Orono United Methodist Church. She taught Sunday School and Bible School and made home visits to the elderly. Her visits were especially important to her; the people she visited could always count on a friendly face, warm conversation, and freshly baked pies or rolls.
Once her children were grown, Phyllis returned to work outside the home. She took great pride in her work as a fashion consultant at Porteous, Mitchell and Braun.
In their retirement, Phyllis and Bob enjoyed the simple things in life: traveling, camping, long walks by the ocean, and enjoying time with each other and family.
Phyllis was predeceased by her loving husband of 69 years, Robert Barlow Rhoads, on November 2, 2017. The two are now together again.
Surviving are her daughters, Cornelia Rhoads, Ruth Rhoads-Vigue, Alecta Rhoads-Doyle and Alesia Rhoads-Higgins; grandchildren, Rob Rhoads, Stephanie Mclean, Elizabeth Vigue, Jamison Rhoads-Doyle, Collin Rhoads-Doyle, Lauren Higgins and Nicholas Higgins; great-grandchildren, Charlotte Rhoads, Emerson Rhoads, Michael Mclean and Madison Mclean.
There will be a private burial in Portland at a later date.
Those wishing to remember Phyllis in a special way may make donations in her memory to The Animal Orphanage, 71 Airport Road, Old Town, Maine, 04468 or the Orono United Methodist Church, 36 Oak Street, Orono, Maine, 04473.
Condolences to the family may be expressed at www.BrookingsSmith.com.
Published on November 15, 2017