Phyllis Fay Long was born to Ellis and Fay Vetter on Oct. 14, 1926, at Veteran. She grew up on the family farm a half-mile north of Veteran. Phyllis was later joined by two sisters, Dorothy in 1932 and Shirley in 1937. She attended Veteran School for her education.
Phyllis was a member of the Veteran Sewing club and a very active member of the United Church for most of her life, while living in Veteran. She attended Olds College on a couple of occasions during the summer months to further her education.
On July 2, 1952, Phyllis married Arlos Long, whose family also resided in the Veteran area. About that same time, they purchased their own farm, just a short distance southeast of the town, and started their own farming operation.
On Nov. 1, 1953, they welcomed their first born into the family, Gordon. They also welcomed Wayne into the family on April 6, 1956, and Ian on April 14, 1958. Growing up on the family farm for the three boys was a never-ending variety of outdoor adventures!
Curling was always one of Phyllis’ favourite sports. She was always involved in bonspiels throughout the area. Even though she was no longer able to participate, she never missed watching a game on TV. She used to complain that there was way too much hockey and not enough curling.
Phyllis always loved her flowers and gardening. She would spend hour after hour with any spare time that presented itself, making sure everything was perfect and, of course, the freezer was always full of vegetables for the winter.
After retirement and selling their beloved farm, they had two very special extended tours in the newly purchased motorhome. The first one was to Alaska with Arlos’ sister, Esther. They all enjoyed each other’s company immensely and always relived the trip anytime they got together. Their second trip was by themselves across Canada to the east coast and made it all the way to St. John’s, Nfld. The highlight of the trip for Phyllis was visiting the “Anne of Green Gables” heritage site in P.E.I.
With Arlos’ health failing, Phyllis was not as readily capable of caring for him; the decision was made to move to the Heart Haven Lodge in Stettler. In August 2005, they had a farm sale, which was a very hard time for both of them, as they had lived in the Veteran area all of their lives, and at their farm for 53 years.
Heart Haven was a huge adjustment for them, but they soon made numerous new friends, and they were always overwhelmed with the number of lifelong friends that would stop in to visit from Veteran and area. She immediately took over care of one of the flower gardens at the lodge. It brought such great satisfaction for her when she would show it to everyone that visited.
In October 2006, they were blessed with their first great-granddaughter, Ava, who arrived just in time for Phyllis’ 80th birthday! That brought the biggest smile ever to great-grandma, and in July 2008, another great-granddaughter arrived, Brooklyn. Phyllis truly treasured any time she got to spend with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Most recently, she became a great grandmother for the third time as Hartley was born in April.
In December 2010, Arlos passed away at the age of 96. That was obviously a very tough time for Phyllis. They had been married for 58 wonderful years and she always said she regretted nothing.
In January 2013, Ian passed away. It was absolutely devastating for her, as it is for anyone to lose a child.
Her mother told her the toughest thing to do in a lifetime is to bury a child, as she buried Shirley before she passed, and now Phyllis knew it was true.
Christmas and family were two very important things in Phyllis’ life. She travelled to Fort St. John, B.C., with Karen, Wayne, Jason and Angie, to spend Christmas 2013 with Tyler, Amanda, Ava and Brooklyn.
Overall, Phyllis enjoyed reasonably good health until her sudden passing on June 30, 2014. I believe I can speak for everyone that knew her in saying she will be very deeply missed and always loved for the very special lady she was.
A memorial service was held on Saturday, July 5, 2014, at 2 p.m., with Rev. Mervyn Penfound officiating. Melanie Weekes presented her gift of music. Family friend Ron Allison gave the tribute and spoke of many wonderful occasions in Phyllis and Arlos life. Cremation has taken place and burial will be held in Veteran Cemetery at a later date.
Memorial donations may be made to Veteran Cemetery. Family and friends gathered for a time of fellowship and a luncheon prepared and served by the Stettler UCW. Condolences may be viewed or sent to the family at stettlerfuneralhome.com or parkviewfuneralchapels.com
Parkview/Stettler Funeral Homes & Crematorium is entrusted with the care and funeral arrangements.