Phyllis Wall: 1936 to 2021. Photo courtesy of the family.

Former islander Phyllis Ann Wall, 85, died on Sunday, July 18, in Winchester, Virginia.

Born Feb. 11, 1936, in Minnesota, Phyllis was a daughter of the late Allen and Josephine Gow. After marrying John Wall in college, they eventually settled in New Jersey with their two children Craig and Claudia. There, Phyllis thrived in community theater and off-Broadway productions. Tennis and golf rounded out her favorite activities.

When John retired in 1991, they moved to their summer home on Ocracoke Island. Phyllis became involved in many activities and island events, weaving herself into the hearts of the islanders.

A gregarious soul, Phyllis never met a stranger, only new friends.

Her Ocracoke friends recall her riding around the village in the firetruck enthusiastically announcing Bingo nights, always being one of the first in line at any community gathering, and she never forgot to send villagers a card on their birthdays. 

Phyllis also is one of the voice-overs you frequently hear on the island radio station WOVV 90.1 FM.

Her best friend was the late Vickie Cobb, who famously ran the “Cobb House,” a boarding house for young women who came to the island to work in the summers. 

Phyllis and Vickie loved to sit on the porch and giggle at the stories the girls would relay to them about their wild nights. 

A long-time board member of the Ocracoke Friends of the Library, Phyllis was a generous patron to the many nonprofits and art efforts on the island.

She was a faithful attendee of the Ladies-who-Lunch group.

“We will certainly miss so many things about Phyllis,” said Leslie Monticone”.  Her smile was contagious.  Her laugh, unforgettable and her heart was as big as the ocean!  How lucky we all are to have had her in our lives.”

After becoming widowed in 1997, Phyllis traveled the world with some close friends, visiting Italy, Ireland and snorkeling in Jamaica.

Craig moved in with her in 2012 in poor health, and she devoted her life to caring for him. The island had surrounded her with love when she mourned John and did so again after her son died in 2018.

In February 2021, as her health declined, Phyllis moved to a retirement community near her daughter in Winchester, Virginia. She enjoyed lunches out, trivia with other residents, and seeing her grandchildren. After a brief illness, she passed peacefully.

She is deeply missed by her daughter Claudia and husband Michael Stacey; her grandchildren, Marcel Lachance, Beau Lachance, Aline Dias, and their spouses; and Megan Wall. She is also survived by one great-grandchild, Bella Lachance.

Donations may be made in Phyllis’ name to the National Adrenal Diseases Foundation.

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