Phyllis passed away on October 12, 2022. A service will be held at 3P.M., Friday, October 28, 2022 at Boxwell Brothers Ivy Chapel. Arrangements are by Boxwell Brothers Funeral Directors 2800 Paramount Blvd.
Phyllis Marie Edwards Squyres was born July 21, 1929, to Howard Jackson Edwards and Mabel Kurth Edwards in Tulia, Texas. She was the seventh of eight children, and the youngest girl of the farming family.
The family all had nicknames, and she was affectionately known as “Tootie.” She loved all her siblings, admired her sisters, and was especially fond of her little brother “Bussey.” They were all children of the Great Depression, Dust Bowl, and World War II. They knew how to do without and cherish all they had. They were truly part of the Greatest Generation.
As a teenager during WWII, like many girls Phyllis dreamed of leaving the farm, marrying, and having a family. In 1948, she married a sailor, Jerome Walker “Buddy” Squyres. She said she fell for him because he was the only boy who took her to church on their first date. They quickly started a family and after several job changes and moves around the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles, settled in Amarillo, Texas.
J.W. was a skilled welder and hard worker, but money was always tight with 3 young boys to raise, so Phyllis always took part-time and babysitting jobs to help make ends meet. She worked for the local newspaper, a department store, and eventually found herself working for Kids Incorporated, where she spent the next 32 years as the Executive Secretary. That title didn’t really describe the job performed, because she not only did the secretarial work but fitted uniforms on kids, checked in and out equipment, organized meetings and schedules for teams and coaches, and anything else you can imagine. In the beginning, it was just her, the director, and a part-time helper. Kids Inc. grew and so did the staff, but so did her responsibilities to help lead the staffers. She was a valued part of the organization until her retirement. When J.W. went on disability in 1976 due to heart trouble, he often said if Phyllis had not had such a good job, they would not have made it. She wasn’t just added income, she was now the breadwinner. J.W. passed away in 1984.
Though she had a good full-time job with Kids Inc., she always had time for the many sports, scholastic, and musical activities of her sons Larry, Kenny, and Buddy Gale. She kept an immaculate house and gardens of flowers and tomatoes. Mealtime was always special, and she could make a great meal with little or nothing…you just had to know your spices. During the holidays, she would make sure everyone would have their favorites laid out.
Phyllis never stopped learning. She took computer courses at Amarillo College when it was relatively new. She volunteered for several non-profit groups and of course served in her church and sang in the choir at St. Paul Methodist Church. One of the highlights of her life was the opportunity to visit the Holy Land. She was re-baptized in the Jordan River and treasured her memories and keepsakes from her visit.
If a job and a family weren’t enough, Phyllis became an Avon saleslady and sold Avon products for over 30 years and was a top seller in the President’s Club for many of those years. She also made it a family affair, teaching her granddaughters how to put together the orders and go on sales calls with her. The
grandsons were part of it as well, they helped her deliver and drove all over town so she could get the orders out promptly. Nanny, as the grandkids called her, never really did it for the money. Rather she could spend time with her grandkids and be able to buy them gifts and help them learn to work and earn money for themselves. She loved all her grandkids very much.
Phyllis did have a “dark” side as many people knew. She was a bonafide Dark Chocoholic. Anybody who ever went to the theatre or a concert with her discovered a multitude of gum, candy, mints, and of course, dark chocolate bits she carried in her purse. If someone coughed, she was digging for a piece of dark chocolate, which of course was much better than a cough drop. She also knew that in the nursing home where she lived the remainder of her life, she could get things she wanted by leaving a piece of candy on the head nurses’ keyboard when she wasn’t looking.
Phyllis, Tootie, Mom, Nanny…will be dearly missed.
She is survived by her sons Larry and Shirley Hollis of Flint, TX, Kenneth and Cheral Squyres of Amarillo, Buddy Gale Squyres of Amarillo, 9 grandchildren, 26 great-grandchildren, and 1 great, great grandchild+2 on the way.
Please use this link to view the service: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cobmz7ZE4L4