Phyllis May Curtis White Wetherell

Phyllis May Curtis White Wetherell 1936 – 2020 BRUNSWICK – Born of solid Maine stock in Portland, Mom was the first child of John and Mary Curtis. Mom passed away in Richmond, Ind. on April 25, 2020 when her last remaining kidney gave up its valiant work. Her daughter, Susan and son, David John were with her, which we are all so grateful. Covid19 restrictions kept her other daughter, Linda, from traveling to be there. Mom’s inner strength grew out of the tragedies in her early life: the deaths of her daughter, Lisa and husband, Ira Donald White Jr. With great support from her family, she found her way and rose to the occasion. Mom then fell very much in love with and happily married David Wetherell, the Quaker pastor of Durham Friends Meeting in Brunswick: the Friends Meeting she grew up in as had several generations before her. With David, she started a new adventure. They moved to Richmond, Ind. for David to attend Earlham School of Religion (ESR), which unbeknownst to Mom would be the place where she later worked. In Richmond, their son David John was born, much to the delight of Susan and Linda. After David graduated, the family headed back to Maine and landed in Bar Harbor, where Phyllis and David helped start Acadia Friends Meeting (which is still going strong today). They moved back to Richmond, Ind. when David John was 14 and Phyllis and David immersed themselves in the Quaker community. It was at this point that Phyllis jumped into a role for which she was well suited; for 18 years she worked as secretary/receptionist for ESR. She was the first face that prospective students, faulty, and staff encountered, and she welcomed them and treated them graciously and with a kindness that came from her heart. In addition to “running the place”, she was invited to take classes which she jumped into with gusto. After David died in 1990, she was able to turn her grief into helping others by sharing her experiences in the Death and Dying classes. One of her former Deans said that Phyllis “was an island in a stream, a rock solid person who kept us sane.” Even in our grief of her passing, we all have delighted in sharing our stories about Mom. Her grandchildren talked about their Friday night sleepovers and dressing up in her work clothes – even the horrid brown shoes. They also laughed about Nana Phyllis teaching them the correct way to shake hands – not like a fish! Her sister, Charlotte, reminisced that as kids they got Phyllis to ask their Dad if they could go to the movies because after Phyllis pouted her lip he couldn’t resist her anything. She was the best person to bounce your problems off of, and you knew she could always keep a secret. Our family learned from Mom the proper way to wash dishes and make a bed, and don’t ever call her at 7:30 p.m. because she’d be watching Jeopardy. And if you wanted to see un-Quakerly behavior, just sit down to a game of Cribbage or Scrabble with her. Mom sure did love to win! For the last seven years, Mom relished her sunlit apartment and good friends at Friends Fellowship in Richmond. Mom was definitely a fixture there. Mom’s family are Susan (Dale), Linda (Rick), David John–also known as her favorite son (Jennifer); her sister Charlotte, brother Johnny (Mildred); and stepdaughter Lynne; her grandchildren that will carry on all she taught them, Hickory (Trisha), Ryder (Amanda), Rossy, Marjorie, Korey, Brandon (Jenna), Ashton (Wyatt), Nate and Genesee; as well as her great-grandchildren, Jack, Mason, Max, Samuel, Lumen, and due in July, Sawyer. And those already passed on, her parents, John and Mary Curtis; brother, David; daughter, Lisa; and the two loves of her life, husbands, Donny and David. Celebrations of Mom’s life will be in Richmond, Ind. and Brunswick, later in the year. If so moved, contributions can be made in Mom’s name to: Women’s Society, Durham Friends Meeting,534 Quaker Meeting House RoadDurham, ME 04222

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