All those who loved her, lost their wife, mother, sister, cousin, aunt and dear friend Phyllis J. Neu (Childs) on Monday morning December 02, 2019. Born on May 03, 1933 to Rudolph and Leora Childs, she enjoyed a lively childhood in Bolivar, NY, with her sisters Shirley (Clayton) Hackett, Carolyn (Kenneth) Hackett, Beverly (Arthur) Brown, Patricia (Lawrence) Learn, and Constance (Ralph) Best. Phyllis and her sisters became known as the Childs’ Girls who enjoyed good times “cutting up a rug or two” at a local dance hall, the bowling league, or campground. The bond she developed with her sisters lasted throughout her lifetime.
Phyllis met the dream and love of her life, Paul Neu at her parents cottage at Cuba Lake, in 1947. They married October 07, 1949 and recently celebrated their milestone of 70 wonderful years together. Theirs was a marriage made in heaven. They did everything together from working, serving their church, community and family, opening their home for family gatherings and parties, to club meets (4-H and Youth For Christ) and more. When it comes to worklife, she was a key partner in building the family business. It was not easy to start up a business in the late 1950’s, particularly a disposal business, but Phyllis’ sense of team, strategic thinking, and determination didn’t stop her from supporting her husband every step of the way. Without hesitation, she drove truck when needed, mastered the book-keeping duties, and championed the ability to multi-task household chores with parenting responsibilities.
Phyllis was a creative, resourceful, mother extraordinaire. With a new business and four children on the go, she managed to attend parent-teachers’ conferences, advocated for quality education for her children, ensured they would have music instruments of their choice to learn the value of discipline, taxied them to sports practices, concerts, school plays, downhill skiing, church activities and more. Phyllis led a 4-H club and taught young members how to care for, train, ride and show ponies. And in her spare time, she coordinated summer vacations that entailed camping / cottaging at the lake front, joined bowling leagues, went motor biking and snowmobiling.
Phyllis received her GED in 1972 and went on to St. Francis School of Nursing, where she became a Licensed Practical Nurse in 1974. This training amplified her core, caring nature and she worked at the Olean General Hospital. During these years, Phyllis was also helping take care of Paul’s aging parents, visiting Paul’s sister in the hospital who had survived a severe head-on collision, and also taking in a family that needed housing as a result of the 1972 flood.
Phyllis balanced her life with play; she enjoyed many years of taking her grandchildren for overnights, shopping, movies, let alone attending their sports games and special events. She loved to travel with her beloved Paul in his plane, RV camping across the States and throughout Alaska, and trekking from their home in Cuba, NY to their home in Florida where they enjoyed six months of the year sailing, biking, and getting into all the good fun that retirees get into.
A woman of boundless energy and a strong sense of place and duty who valued family above all, Phyllis worked tirelessly to provide loving support to her loved ones and did so with amazing fervor.
In addition to her loving husband of 70 years, Phyllis leaves behind three daughters - Kathie (David) NeuOrgan, Nancy (James) Burdick, Bonita (Michael) Hennard; one daughter-in-law – Kathleen (Michael) Neu; eight grandchildren – Mark (Elaiza) Neu, Jeff Neu, Cynthia (John) Matheny, Josiah (Cathryn) Hennard, Laurel (Scott) Comstock, Melissa Hennard, Amanda Burdick, and Ethan Hennard; ten great grandchildren – Claudia Neu, Patrick Neu, Lauren Neu, Chester Matheny, Peyton Matheny, Audrea and Naomi, Brianna Comstock, Colton Comstock, and Joshua Neu; several cousins, nieces and nephews, and great nieces and nephews.
Phyllis is predeceased by her parents, Rudolph and Leora Childs; son, Michael (Kathleen) Neu; and sisters, Beverly (Arthur) Brown and Constance (Ralph) Best.
At her request, there will be no visitation or funeral service.
Arrangements are under the direction of the Mark F. Rinker Funeral Home, Cuba, NY.
Memorials may be made to the Cuba Circulating Library.
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