PHYLLIS OWENS

Obituary
7 entries
  • "Dear Auntie Phil: You had so much love for all of us. You..."
    - Arthur Tomlinson
  • "You were the greatest Auntie Phyl. You will be missed for..."
  • "God speed"
    - Cheryl Wooley (Clarke)
  • "Always remembered and loved by your family. RIP Aunty Phyl...."
    - Lisa and Jamie Rossiter
  • "You were such a sweetie Auntie Phyl. You will be remembered..."
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OWENS, Phyllis Myra A. (Morgan)
Suddenly in her 100th year, Phyllis passed away at Providence's Marion Hospice on December 22, 2011. She was the beloved wife of her late husband Ken who predeceased her by almost two years. Phyllis was also the dear mother of Lynn and son-in-law Wilf Owens-Whalen. She is lovingly remembered by her sister-in-law Agnes Wicks, brother-in-law John Owens (Sheila) and nieces Jessie Dodds, Shirley Mason (George), nephews Stan Morgan (Darlene) and Bob Wicks (Chris). Aunty Phyl is also remembered by grand nieces, nephews and their families Suzi Hoadley (Jerry), Vikki Liket (Corrie), Dorette Jackson (Scot), Ethan, Erica, Liam, Jason Bedford (Kelly), Lisa Rossiter (Jamie), Melissa and Makayla, Kathy Litke (James), Taya, Sandra Mason (Doug) and Brooke and by cousins-in-law David McLean (Brenda), Daphne Powell and their families and Sheela and Kamilla McLean, Byron Jha and family, Robin Jha and Andrew (Miranda) Jha. She is also survived by her extended family in the U.K., U.S. and Australia who have been a delight to her. Phyllis was predeceased by her parents Arthur D. Morgan and Ella (Crews) Morgan, parents-in-law, George Owens and Christina (Campbell) Owens, and by her siblings, Hilda Neil (Ivor), Leslie Morgan (Beth), Cyril Morgan (Ruth), Garfield (Gary) Morgan (Margaret), sisters-in-law Mary Owens and Christina Owens, brother-in-law Lyle Wicks, aunts Margaret James (John), Myra Thompson (Joe), Kate Wing (Bruce), uncles Morgan Morgan (Annie), Lewis Morgan (Mary), Charles Morgan (Sally), Harry Crews (Annie). She was the last of her 1st cousins and was most recently predeceased by Trixie Griffiths with whom Phyllis shared her 100th birthday in the UK in 2007 and by cousins-in-law Lois McLean and Herbert Owen.
Phyllis was born 07 August 1912 in Vancouver near 17th and Main. Her early years were spent in Mount Pleasant and then in the West End where she attended Aberdeen and Dawson Schools. When the family moved to West Point Grey in 1927, Phyllis attended Queen Mary and Magee. Phyllis reveled in sharing stories based on her memories such as being pulled in a wagon by her brothers down Howe Street and another of the nuns of St. Paul's helping her cross Burrard Street, then a boulevard. Phyllis' family was close and very active. She spent countless hours playing with the siblings close to her in age and being adored and protected by the older children. Only the activities changed as they grew older. Her mother and sister were exceptionally talented with handiwork and Phyllis eagerly joined in. In later years, Lynn was the recipient of beautiful sewed clothing and everyone eagerly anticipated her extraordinary desserts, sweets and Welsh cakes, especially Ken. The Morgan home was also full of joyful social events. Phyllis loved the excitement and the happiness of being in a social setting. This became synonymous with who Phyllis was throughout her life. Whether it be up Grouse Mountain, at the Welsh Society, at church, in family gatherings or entertaining at home, Phyllis loved being with people. The door at the Morgan household was always open. When living on Burrard Street, they welcomed several outpatients at St. Paul's who were from out of town and needed a place to stay. Deep family friendships were made in this way. Ken and Phyl's door was always open too. As her mother had done for her mother, Phyllis and Ken became caregivers for her parents and as the circle goes, it has been Lynn and Wilf who have provided loving care for two very special parents in latter years. The Morgan family attended First Baptist Church, then First Congregational Church before moving to West Point Grey and joining the congregation of West Point Grey United Church. Phyllis married the love of her life, Ken here in 1942. They raised Lynn at WPGUC and Phyllis was a devoted member of the choir in early years, the Clara Telfer Circle and with Ken, the Couples Club and The Lunch Club for Seniors. Phyllis felt her spiritual roots were firmly planted within the warm, caring community afforded to her in the church at the corner of 8th and Tolmie. Shortly after the arrival of the Morgan family in Vancouver in 1907, they became a part of the Welsh Society. It can be truly said that Phyllis was aware and proud of her Welsh heritage her entire life. As did her Mother, Phyllis reveled in the music, being a member of the Children's Choir and much later the Cambrian Circle Singers. The annual Gymanfa Ganu (hymn singing festival) gave her musical pleasure and spiritual peace. She was also an active member of the Women's Auxiliary, later the Social Committee. Phyllis was also active with the North American Welsh (WNGGA) and served as a Trustee. Phyllis grew up immersed in and appreciating the beauty in and around Vancouver. The family spent time together on the beaches of Point Grey, fishing in English Bay and as far as Point Atkinson, camping on Bowen Island, hiking and walking the trails of the local mountains, Point Grey and Whistler. She was among an active group of young people who had cabins on Grouse Mountain and it was here that she met future husband Ken. Throughout their 67 year marriage, Phyllis and Ken shared their passion for the outdoors, walking, hiking, birding often with the Natural History Society and, although always interested in man made beauty, they especially enjoyed travelling to areas in the world of natural grandeur. When Ken skied, Phyllis walked and she reminded us all to "use your feet and not your seat." Ken eagerly joined her as they roamed the trails in Pacific Spirit Park until both were into their 90's. Phyllis loved animals and Welsh Corgis became an integral part of the family and Phyllis adored them. Most recently Olwen has provided Phyllis with great pleasure and comfort. Phyllis worked for BC Electric selling streetcar tickets and also at BC Tel for 29 years. Pursuing a career as a married woman with a child required some courage at the time but the success of those years point to her exceptional ability for organization and establishing priorities. At the same time, Phyllis supported the YMCA as a member of the ladies group. She also volunteered for many years with the Canadian Mental Health Christmas campaign. Her contributions to the community always reflected her desire to make a difference in the lives of others. Ken and Phyllis' home was blessed with shared dedication to and love for family that was grounded in the warmth and comfort of their childhood homes. Their home was a happy gathering place for friends and family from near and far but also one that reflected a life well grounded in principles. Phyllis was passionate about what mattered to her: love of family and bringing them together, being a good and true friend, caring for others as we would like others to care for us, appreciating her cultural roots and those of others, living an active life, appreciating the beauty and grandeur of nature and the extraordinary city and country in which we live. She often said "character is what matters" and "the measure of a good friend is being there in the tough times." Above all, she adored her Ken and missed him terribly since his passing. Phyllis' family are very grateful to Dr. Joy Russell, Dr. Larry Dian, Meng Li and Sheila Smith for the exceptional and loving care provided to Phyllis and for their care and support extended to Lynn and Wilf as caregivers. We also thank the Rev. Val Taylor for her gentle guidance, love and support and to the Crossreach Senior Programme, the Marion Hospice and Community Health Team for their pursuit of enriching Phyllis' quality of life. In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to the Cultural Fund of the Vancouver Welsh Society, 215 East 17th Avenue, Vancouver or the Senior's Ministry at West Point Grey United Church, 4595 West 8th Avenue, Vancouver. A Celebration of Phyllis' life will be held at West Point Grey United Church on Sunday, February 5, 2012 at 2:00pm.

Published in Vancouver Sun and/or The Province from Jan. 27 to Jan. 29, 2012
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