In Her Words
Candid profiles of strength told by the women of Northbridge
Throughout the month of March we have collaborated to celebrate Women’s History Month and the rich history of the amazing women living in our communities. Their candid stories are brimming over with love, happiness, passion, family values and the markings of individuals who have truly lived well and loved life.
Phyllis’s Story (Resident of Ledgewood Bay)
What is your name?
What are the names of your parents and brothers and sisters?
My parents were Mary Jane and Louis and my siblings are Raymond MIchael, Louis John Jr., Ruth Elizabeth and Violet Mary.
How did your parents choose your name? Does it have a special meaning? Did you have any nicknames?
I have no idea how my name was chosen or if it has any special meaning. My nickname is Fiddy. There were four other girls named Phyllis in our neighborhood, I’m the only one with a nickname. My sister tells me that she couldn’t say my name when she was younger and that’s how I got my nickname.
When and where were you born?
I was born on March 31 in Nashua, NH.
What kinds of things did your family do together when you were young?
We went swimming, skating, had playtime together and worked in the gardens.
What did you love to do with your friends?
We played outside and went to the movies and shopping.
What schools did you attend? What were your favorite subjects?
I attended schools in Nashua, Amherst and Hudson. My favorite subject was Math.
If married, what is/was your husband’s name? How did he propose?
My husband was Stanley and we were married 67 years. We had been dating for about 8 months when we went to a party. There was a little ruckus going on, so we left. I wanted to see how my sister was doing but he told me to wait a minute. He proposed to me on the porch and I said yes! I let him set the date. It was supposed to be after he got out of the service. There as a mix up with his discharge paperwork, so we got married while he was in the service and honeymooned after he got out.
What are your children’s names?
Kathleen Ann and Steven Stanley
What are some special memories you have about your children?
Neither of my children ever gave me any trouble. My daughter and I have a special bond. I made her dresses when she was little. As she grew up, I made gowns for some of her dances. My son was conscientious about his paper route. One Christmas when he was around 10, he bought me a Hummel picture with the money he earned. He wanted me to have something special. I have it hanging outside my door now. Growing up as soon as it started snowing, my husband and I would take the kids skiing. We would take their friends as well. I would pack lunches and we would spend the day on the mountain.
Where have you lived?
Nashua (47 years in the same house my husband built), Hudson and Florida (41/2 months during the winters).
Have you had jobs? Who did you work for and what did you do?
I was a stay at home mom until my daughter was a senior in high school. I got a job at McAllister’s inspecting glass tubes. I worked there for 10 years until they were sold to Raytheon. I then worked for Kollsman where they made airplane parts doing inventory control.
What are your hidden talents?
I have patience with people that need it most. I will help those who cannot help themselves.
What did you do to get through the difficult times in your life?
I talked to God.
Do you have holiday traditions? What do you do for the holidays?
In years past we would have friends over on Christmas Eve. We did this for over 40 years. We spent Christmas day with the in-laws. Thanksgiving we had at home with our family. We always invited our daughter-in-laws parents.
What are some of your favorite things?
Favorite colors? Shades of red
Favorite flowers? Chrysanthemums
Favorite books? The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
Favorite songs? Begin the Beguine by Arty Shaw
Favorite foods? My mother-in-laws Polish cooking
Favorite pets? Dogs
What are some personal experiences that have especially touched your heart?
The joy of being a mother. Also being there when my daughter had her second son. I helped deliver him.
What are your favorite things to do now?
Read, listen to music and talk with people.
What are you favorite experiences to partake in at Ledgewood Bay?
What do you hope for your children and grandchildren?
I hope they are fortunate enough to have the kind of life that my husband and I had with our children.
What is your biggest piece of advice?
Be kind to each other.
Sum your personality up in 1 word?