Gifford, Phyllis L.

August 11, 1921 - October 8, 2016

Phyllis Gifford, at the age of 95, passed away on Saturday, October 8th.  She was a beloved wife, mother, grandmother, aunt, and friend to all who knew her.  She joined the love of her life, her husband of 72 years.  They were separated in death by just 19 days.  A Celebration of her life will be held Thursday, October 20th at 4:00 in the chapel at First United Methodist Church of Richardson.

Phyllis Lucile Sherrill was born August 11, 1921 in Waterloo, Iowa to Elmer & Dorothy Sherrill.  She started dating Wayne Gifford at the age of 16.  During her senior year at West Waterloo High School, she was concert mistress of the orchestra.  She graduated in 1938 at the age of 17.  Being younger than her classmates, she worked at Kresge’s Dime Store for a year before beginning college at Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, Iowa with a four-year violin scholarship.  She graduated from Cornell College in 1943.  The year after graduation, she taught band, choir, and sophomore English at Klemme, Iowa.  During a short furlough from the army, she married Wayne Gifford on February 5, 1944.  While Wayne was in the army, she taught 4th grade and music in a school outside of Whittier, CA.  When World War II was over, Phyllis and Wayne settled in Waterloo, Iowa where their three children-Janet, Craig, and Rex-were born.  In 1957, they moved to Omaha, Nebraska.  Phyllis started a Mothers’ Singers chorus for the PTA at Fontenelle Elementary School and began singing in a quartet with Sweet Adeline’s.  In 1963, they moved to Richardson, TX.  Phyllis began playing violin in the Richardson Symphony Orchestra.  She remained a part of the Richardson Symphony Orchestra for 20 years.   In 1964, she started the orchestra program for Richardson I.S.D.  She retired from teaching orchestra in 1977, but continued to substitute and to teach privately until 2005.  In 1977, Phyllis and Wayne purchased a travel trailer and began their yearly trips throughout the United States.  They had fun taking grandchildren and friends with them to see all the beautiful sights in our great country.  They were active members of First United Methodist Church of Richardson since 1963.  Phyllis loved doing ceramics and making lots of gifts for friends and loved ones.  For years, she made sequin calendars for every family group.  Phyllis loved her family and friends and loved planning special times.  She was the queen of birthdays and organizer for get-togethers with family and friends.

Phyllis was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Wayne, her son, Craig, and her three brothers-Dale Sherrill, Ross Sherrill, and Max Sherrill.    She is survived by her daughter and husband, Janet & John Ebey, son and wife, Rex & Pamela Gifford; daughter-in-law, Laurie Gifford, seven grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren, 3 step-grandchildren, and 5 great-step-grandchildren.

Memorial donations may be made to  First United Methodist Church Richardson, 503 N. Central Expressway, Richardson, TX 75080 or The Parks Church Melissa, PO Box 33, Melissa, TX 75454.

Arrangements are under the direction of
ARIA Cremation Service and Funeral Home
19310 Preston Road
Dallas, Texas 75252

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