Friday, January 31st of this year, saw the passing of Phyllis McIlnay of Havelock. Phyllis was born on the 3rd of June 1937 in Brooklyn, New York.
Phyllis is remembered as a humorous but wise woman, never at a loss for advice to give or without an ear to lend. Her religion played a large part in her life, devoting herself to a number of church activities and never failing to end a phone call with the phrase “God Bless.”
She was a Marine Corps wife, having met her husband Bernard McIlnay through her enlisted brother; Phyllis became pen pals with him while he was on a tour of duty. The two fell deeply in love after meeting and were married in 1960, extending that love into the second millennium. Bernard passed with her by his side after a battle with cancer in 2001.
Phyllis was a lover of animals and was a wildlife rehabilitator for several years while taking care of no shortage of dogs, cats, birds, and fish. Until the day her body prevented her from doing so - and a bit beyond - she was an avid quilter and a mender of many pairs of ripped jeans. A woman colloquially known to both friends and family as “everyone’s Mom,” she took care of her kids while providing a welcoming and safe atmosphere for their friends.
Memorial services were held on the 2nd of February at Cotten Funeral Home and she was buried next to her husband in Forest Oaks Cemetary. Phyllis is survived by two brothers, a sister, a son, two daughters, and a healthy number of nieces, nephews, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Her parents and three brothers preceded Phyllis in death.