Phylis Knight Ross died peacefully on July 24 after a brief illness. She was 83.
Phylis was born April 1, 1931 in East Orange, N.J., to Philip and Lolita Knight and grew up in Maplewood, N.J. She fell in love with and later married her childhood sweetheart, Jack Ross, on June 16, 1953. The couple spent their first year married in Germany where Jack was stationed during the Korean War.
After the war, Jack and Phylis returned to the U.S. and began a family. They had five children whom they raised in Basking Ridge, N.J. When their youngest was school age, Phylis became a real estate broker and was later promoted to district manager of her firm. She was also an accomplished real estate appraiser.
In the summer of 1965, Phylis, Jack and their children visited Martha’s Vineyard for the first time. They were told, “that if they got the Island sand in their shoes, they would always return,” and so they did every summer thereafter. Among Phylis’ favorite Vineyard things were the West Tisbury Farmers' Market, Squibnocket Beach, golf at Farm Neck, and Humphrey’s blueberry pies and Portuguese sweet bread. She was an active member of the Federated Church and volunteered for the Island Food Pantry.
Phylis was a devoted wife and mother and always put her family’s needs first. She was a gifted artist, a gourmet cook and her talents at homemaking were unrivaled. Phylis enjoyed entertaining and was her happiest when surrounded by family and friends. She will be fondly remembered for her wonderful sense of humor and for her love of gardening, knitting, traveling, playing bridge and the theatre.
Phylis was predeceased by her parents and her daughter, Pamela Ross.
Phylis was survived by her husband Jack Ross of Cheshire, Conn.; her sons John Ross of Warren, N.J., and Andy Ross of Redmond, Wash.; her daughters Dodie Ross of Cheshire, Conn., and Stacy Wallace of Edgartown; her grandchildren: Bryan, Cody, Jesse, Michael, Mark, Melissa, Eric, Lauren, John, Kevin, Catherine, Jack and KC; her sister Debbie Munson; her brother Christopher Knight; and her cousin Mark Bird.
A celebration of life was held in Cheshire, Conn., on August 2.