1923 – 2016

DIXFIELD —

of North Street in Dixfield passed away Saturday, May 21, at her residence following a long illness.

She was born in Portland on Aug. 10, 1923, a daughter of Percy W. and Ruth (Merrill) Witham. In 1937, the family moved to Augusta, as her father was employed at Togus until his passing. Phyllis was a graduate of Cony High School, Class of 1942.

After graduation, she worked for George F. West & Son in Portland until joining the U.S. Marine Corps on her lunch break with her girlfriend without her parents’ blessing. She was stationed at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina when President Franklin Roosevelt died and assisted in lowering the flag to half-mast. She was later stationed in Washington, D.C., and was there when President Dwight Eisenhower made his first trip back from the war, and she was sent out of the office to greet him.

Phyllis was also in Washington, D.C., on V-J Day and served as secretary for one of the generals. After her discharge from the service, she returned to Augusta and was employed at Togus VA Hospital, until moving to Peru in July 1958 when she married Everett “Bud” McPhee.

She was later employed at Rumford Hospital in the dietary department, assistant to the dietitian, and also at the nursing homes in Dixfield and Auburn. Phyllis later went to work for Dr. David Phillips as a transcriptionist until retiring in 1989.

She was a communicant of St. Barnabas Episcopal Church, having served as lector and chalice bearer for many years, and served on the vestry from 1963 to 2006. She also served on the Episcopal Women’s Group, working on the Lenten luncheons and other activities.

Phyllis was a member of the Peru Mothers Club, and loved bowling and watching candlepin bowling on TV. She also loved camping and reading.

Surviving are her children, Patricia Van Lieu of California and Robert J. McPhee of Dixfield; a daughter-in-law, Sue McPhee of Dixfield; four grandchildren, Deborah Sperry, Danielle Afari and husband, Nana, Tammy Daigle and Alicia Welch; and seven great-grandchildren, Tanya Sperry, Kaitlynne Sperry, Nicole Welch, Carly Welch, Benjamin DeSalle, Noah Afari and Owen Afari.

She was predeceased by her parents; her husband, Everett McPhee; two sons, John and Mark McPhee; two sisters, Betty Larsen and Patricia Stevens; and two brothers, Merrill and Stanley Witham.

You are invited to share your thoughts, condolences and fond memories with the family by visiting their guest book at www.SGThibaultFuneralHome.com.

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