Phyllis Doreen Davis was born in Yass on April 22, 1929. Growing up in Wee Jasper, she was the youngest of 14 children, 12 of whom reached adulthood.
The Davis family was extremely close. Because of the 22-year age difference between her and her eldest brother, Phil, she was very close to some of her nieces and nephews, who were closer in age to some of her siblings.
She attended the Wee Jasper school for primary education before moving to Goulburn to live with her sister, Joyce Kershaw, and to attend high school.
She met Lloyd Knox at a wedding and then they married on February 16, 1952. They had a block of land at 34 Browne Street and built a shed to live in while their house was built.
They had four children: Philip, Kelvin, Leonie and David.
Before her marriage, she worked for a local jeweller. Once married, she was the homemaker and the homebase operator for Yass Taxis (Lloyd owned a taxi).
In 1974, she embarked on a new career, graduating as a nurses aid and securing a job at Yass Hospital where she worked for many years.
Her life changed at 55-years-old when Lloyd died in June 1982. She had become independent, starting with learning to drive and getting her licence. This was her time to rediscover her love of dancing.
She also started travelling at this time. She was also a great tennis player, playing well into her 70s.
She later moved onto bowls, which she really enjoyed. She became an active community member in not only the bowls club but also the War Widows Guild and other associated community services, which she loved being a part of.
Her passion, though, was dancing and she had great dancing partners in Alfie Smith and her brother, George, later on.
When George died, she continued her love of dancing in the form of boot scooting with Chesne Harrison.
She will be very much remembered for her youthful spirit. Ben often tells the story of when we had a night out in Yass, which meant staying at Grandma’s.
We would always let her know not to worry if she heard a drunk person stumbling in late at night, it was only us.
She embarked on her first overseas trip, very bravely at 60, on her own. She spent two weeks exploring England and Wales, before meeting up with Leonie in London.
This really sparked her love of travel and over the years, she discovered many countries, often with Leonie and Asho and sometimes Annie.
They also had many trips across Australia together.
Phyllis was adventurous and young at heart. Even in her 70s, she was sleeping in a swag on her travels in the middle of nowhere and loving it.
She was a bell ringer here at St Clement’s Church. At one time, she was the world-record holder for continual bell ringing – the plaque is in the bell tower.
She continued her association with St Clement’s until she was unable to attend services due to her fall.
At every opportunity, she headed out to her favourite place – Wee Jasper.
She loved being a grandma, but she wasn’t just grandma to her grandchildren – Annie, Ben, Shanno and Kelle – and great grandma to Ryan and Alex, but she was grandma to their friends and many others who knew, respected and loved her.
Her beautiful warmth and smile is held in many hearts.
The family thanked Chesne and Ade Harrison and Dale and Roxene Carmody, who have always taken special care of their aunt Phyllis.
The care and attention they have given, especially since her fall and decline in health, has been exceptional.
It has been mostly appreciated and very heartfelt.
She will be sadly missed by us all. She had a full and interesting life, filled with so much love.
The funeral for Phyllis was on Monday, May 7 at St Clement’s Anglican Church.