Phyllis Rathbone

Obituary of Phyllis Marie Rathbone

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Rathbone, Phyllis Marie
May 3, 1931 – March 06, 2023

After a life well lived, it is with great sadness that we announce the peaceful passing of our dear mother, Phyllis Rathbone (O’Connor, Moore). She will be dearly missed by her daughters: Dawn-Marie (Frank) Plumptre, Judy (Brent) Fraser, and Laurie McDonald,  grandchildren: Christopher and Justin Plumptre, Joshua and Aaron Fraser, and Benjamin (Laura) McDonald, and great grandchildren: Felipe Fraser, Ethan and Logan McDonald. 
Phyllis was born in Edson, Alberta on May 3, 1931 to parents Frederick George Moore and Jane Cecilia Munro. Phyllis was the youngest of five sisters and one brother. Sisters: Helen Clark (predeceased), Edna Mahoney, Evelyn Moore (predeceased), Thelma Willmore and brother: Edgar Moore (predeceased). She was predeceased by husbands Alvin Roy O’Connor of 52 years and Jim Rathbone of 4 years. Arnold “Arnie” McLean became Phyllis’ loving companion in her later years.

Phyllis moved with her family to New Westminster, BC at an early age. After graduating from high school and Psychiatric Nurse Training, she worked as a Psychiatric Nurse at Essondale Hospital, Coquitlam (aka Riverview Hospital) for approximately 2 years. Then she updated her accounting education at night school while working at the Surrey Municipal Hall as an Accounts Payable Clerk for many years, until retirement.

Phyllis was always a talent scout at heart, encouraging her children, spouses, and all she met to develop their talents, whatever they may be. She took great pride in giving back to her community. In her early years, she became involved in promoting The Drifters Drum and Bugle Corp, Whalley Legion Junior Band, and the Saturday morning C-Fun Radio program, “Call Me Uncle”. As a senior living in Maple Ridge BC, she founded, directed, and participated in “Variety Plus”, a performing group run by the Ridge Meadows Seniors Society, for many years--- into her mid 80s. 

Phyllis loved singing in various Anglican Church choirs, the Maple Ridge seniors performing group “The Silver Tones”, and as a soloist either with music accompaniment or karaoke--- even while holidaying on cruise ships! She performed tap, ballroom, and jazz dances, and both taught and performed Hawaiian dancing, as well as performed in comedy skits in various senior homes, shopping malls, the Ridge Meadows Hospital, and the Ridge Meadows Seniors Activity Centre.

It was thanks to Arnold “Arnie” McLean that Phyllis was able to continue many of her favorite activites late in life, even as Primary Lateral Sclerosis (PLS) increasingly limited all her movements. He became her loving companion for many years. He held her up, supporting her so she could carpet bowl and waltz without losing her balance, drove her to activities and appointments, and did her shopping when she could no longer use her walker to get to the stores.

Phyllis was a remarkable woman, mother, sister, auntie, colleague, and friend. She was, and is loved and will be dearly missed by all who knew her.

Special thanks to the staff and care team at Willow Manor and the PLS team for their care and attention in Phyllis’ last remaining years and Foyer Maillard these past few months. Thank you also to Nathan of Garden Hill Cremation & Funeral Services for his assistance, kindness, and patience at this difficult time. In lieu of flowers, a donation to the ALS Society of BC is appreciated.

A Celebration of Life will be held at St. John the Divine Anglican Church, 21299 River Rd, Maple Ridge, BC V2X 2B1 on Friday, March 31st, 2023 at 2:00 pm with reception to follow.

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Phyllis Rathbone

In Loving Memory

Phyllis Rathbone

1931 - 2023

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