Phyllis (Cooley) Paige

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Service Information
Douglass Funeral Home
87 North Pleasant Street
Amherst, MA

Phyllis (Cooley) Paige, of Amherst, passed away Dec. 1, 2018 after a short illness. Born in Pittsfield, MA, in 1925, she was the daughter of Fred A. and Alma (Smith) Cooley. She graduated from Pittsfield High School in 1943, and spent the following year at General Electric, Pittsfield working in support of the war effort. Phyllis attended Mass. State College in Amherst from 1944-46. She wed Harlan L. Paige of Amherst in 1946 and embarked on a remarkable life as a mother, music teacher, vocalist, Amherst Town Meeting member and writer (and drove a Chevrolet). Phyllis wrote columns and features for the Amherst Record and Hampshire Gazette newspapers for a number of years. An accomplished singer, she performed professionally with the Robert Shaw Chorale, directed the junior choir at Grace Church in Amherst and served as lead vocalist in the choirs of several area churches. She also performed with the Amherst Community Opera and was a founding member of the Commonwealth Opera in Northampton.

In 1977, Phyllis enrolled as an Ada Comstock Scholar at Smith College, graduating with a degree in Music (at the age of 55) in 1980. Phyllis then worked as the Executive Secretary of the Friends of the Smith College Libraries, retiring in 1990. In retirement, Phyllis read extensively, worked as a research assistant, and enjoyed travel, gardening, cooking and spending time with family, grandchildren and great grandchildren. She was predeceased by her husband, Harlan, in 1984 and by a brother, Alan Cooley, in 2006. She leaves her sons and their spouses, Steven (Terry) of S. Dennis, James (Sherry) of Putnamville, VT, and Thomas (Shelly) of Sunderland, along with 8 grandchildren, many great-grandchildren and several great-great grandchildren along with many dear friends and neighbors.

Calling hours are Tuesday, Dec. 11th from 4:00 - 6:00pm at the Douglass Funeral Service in Amherst. A private family service and burial will take place the following day. Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to: the Phyllis Cooley Paige fund, Smith College Libraries (in support of music collections), c/o Friends of the Libraries, 4 Tyler Dr., Northampton, MA 01063.

Memorial register at
Published in Daily Hampshire Gazette on Dec. 6, 2018
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