Odiseos, Phyllis R.
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Phyllis Rose Odiseos, 89, passed away peacefully on January 4th at Clare Bridge, a memory care facility in Bend, OR with her loving niece Danaë Bennett Miller at her side. She was born on January 28, 1924 to Gus and Smaro Anastasiadis Odiseos in Greenwich, CT where she attended local schools in her early years. She moved from Old Greenwich to Bend in 2008.
Her extensive education brought her to many heights that supported her passions for learning, teaching and the pursuit of historic preservation. She attended Beaver College, now Arcadia University, in Glenside, PA and received her Bachelor's Degree from the University of Connecticut College of Arts and Sciences, School of Education in 1946. She also attended the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies at the University of Michigan. Following teaching stints in Connecticut, Phyllis was awarded two Fulbright Scholarship grants to teach at Maraslion and Varvakion Schools in 1957 and in 1958 at Hemelios and again at Varvakion Schools in Athens, Greece. In 1963 she was awarded a Master of Arts Degree from Teachers College, Columbia University with English and Teaching of English as a Foreign Language her major fields of study.
Her keen interest in photography became a useful tool for her efforts to further historic preservation and she worked extensively with the Historical Society of Newburgh (NY) and, also, the New York Historical Society and conducted research on the island of Lesvos, Greece. Phyllis conducted an in depth study of historic hotels on Block Island, RI and was the author of The Resort Hotels of Block Island 1862-1911. In 1972 she authored A Study of the Plans of the City House as Found in the Architectural Books Published in the United States Between 1783 and 1865. She also contributed to many articles about her historic restoration efforts. She donated numerous books from her extensive collection to prisons in Maine and Danbury, CT in the hope that they would help unlock the minds of prisoners as part of a process to their becoming contributing members to society after they had completed their sentences. She also sent many books to the University of the Cumberlands, formerly Cumberland College in Williamsburg, KY.
In addition to her parents, Phyllis was predeceased by her brother, Demetri Odiseos in 1997. She is survived by her sister and brother-in-law Mary Lou and Lewis Bennett of Bend and their children Danaë and her husband Ron Miller of Bend and Thomas and his wife, Judy, of Portland, OR. Also surviving her are devoted nephew, Nikko Odiseos of Boston, MA, caring nieces Jane Odiseos Purnell and her husband, Burr, of San Anselmo and Cricket Odiseos of Woodacre, CA, grandnephews Logan Miller and Drew Bennett, grandnieces Gwendolyn and Ellie Rose Purnell and former sister-in-law Susan Odiseos of Santa Fe, NM. Her nieces and nephews were able to spend time with Phyllis during her last days, reminiscing about her life and the kindnesses she demonstrated toward them, always helping them to reach their potential from early childhood into adulthood. "Ed" or Aunt P., as she was interchangeably and lovingly called, will be sorely missed but always remembered for her laugh, for introducing organic foods way ahead of the curve and for the gifts of herself she gave to her family.
Published in GreenwichTime on Feb. 2, 2014