Phyllis D. Anderson, 94, of Winchester, MA passed away peacefully at the Winchester Rehabilitation and Nursing Center on February 21, 2019. A longtime resident of Ilion, NY, she relocated to Winchester in 2017 to live near one of her children after the death of her husband.
Phyllis was born in Buffalo NY on March 4, 1924, the daughter of the late George C. and Minta (Rothfus) Decker of Kenmore, NY. After graduating from Kenmore High School in 1942, she went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Buffalo in 1946 and a degree in library sciences from Syracuse University in 1947. She was employed as a librarian for the Rye Elementary Schools from 1947 to 1949 and the Buffalo Public Library from 1949 to 1951.
In 1949, Phyllis married James S. Anderson, a dental school student whom she met when they were both students at the University of Buffalo. In 1951, they moved to Ilion to establish his dental practice and start a family.
While caring for her growing family, Phyllis dedicated much of her time to the development of the Mid-York Library System. In 1959, she met with other library representatives and state officials to discuss a multi-library system. When the Mid-York Library System was established in 1960, Ilion was one of the 18 charter member libraries and Phyllis was one of the 10 charter trustees. She served as System President in 1964.
In addition, Phyllis fulfilled many roles at the Ilion Free Public Library. She served as President of the Board of Trustees from 1969 to1973 and was involved with the development of the new wing that opened in 1971. She was employed as the Children’s Librarian from 1973 to1993. She also served as President of Friends of the Library at one time and remained involved with the Friends until she left Ilion.
In Ilion, Phyllis was an active member of St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church and the Ilion Council of Churches. In Winchester, she was a member of The Parish of the Epiphany.
Phyllis was devoted to her family and friends and loved being a grandmother. She was an avid reader, and enjoyed listening to various styles of music and keeping up with the national news on a daily basis. She also enjoyed traveling in the United States and Europe and spending time in her favorite vacation spots including Sacandaga Lake in the Adirondacks, Myrtle Beach in South Carolina, and Goose Rocks Beach in Maine.
Phyllis is survived by a daughter, Laura Henry and her husband, Douglas, of Winchester, MA and their children James and Sarah; a son, Philip Anderson and his wife, Joni, of Nevada City, CA and their children, Teresa and Sean; and a daughter, Christine Anderson and her husband, Michael Grady of Fort Bragg, CA. She is also survived by four nephews and their families. She was predeceased by her husband in 2017 and her brother, George C. Decker, in 2010.
A memorial service will be held at The Parish of the Epiphany, 70 Church Street, Winchester. on Saturday, April 27, 2019 at 11:00 AM. Interment will take place at Calvary Cemetery in Herkimer, NY. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts can be made to The Parish of the Epiphany, 70 Church Street, Winchester, MA 01890, St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church, 78 Second Street, Ilion, NY 13357, or the Ilion Public Library Foundation, 78 West Street, Ilion, NY 13357.