Obituaries » PHYLLIS I. MANNILA (GARBER)
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Phyllis I. (Garber) Mannila, 92, passed away on Wednesday, May 20, 2015 at St. Vincent Hospital after a brief illness. Wife of the late Veikko Mannila, she was born on November 3, 1922 in Gardner, raised in Worcester and Paxton. She graduated from Commerce High School and went to work for MPA Insurance Co. in Worcester after graduation.
Phyllis and Veikko were married in Portland, ME in 1943 before he went off to Europe to fight in World War II. After his return, they moved to Paxton to raise their family. They both worked for the Frank C. Harrington family of Worcester and Bass River. After her husband’s death in 1971, Phyllis went back to school at Salter Secretarial School and then went to work for the Civil Defense in Rutland and later worked for many dentists in Worcester including Dr. Thomas O’Connor until her retirement at the age of 75.
Phyllis was an expert seamstress, knitter and artist. She loved to dance, cook, garden and watch the birds. She had a green thumb and her house was full of beautiful plants. She was known for her beautiful flower gardens and incredible yard. Phyllis chopped her own wood and could repair anything. She was still mowing her lawn well into her 80’s. She hosted all the holiday dinners for the family and made the most incredible desserts, making sure everyone had plenty to take home. The whoopie pies were her specialty.
Her favorite saying was “it’s a great life if you don’t weaken”. She was a remarkable, kind, hardworking woman who loved her family and was a loving mother and friend and will be dearly missed by all who knew her.
She is survived by her three children, Wayne Mannila and his wife, Margi Eckhouse of Cape Cod, Joyce M. Jordan of CT, and Bryan Mannila of Paxton; five grandchildren, Kif, Jen, Heather, Jake and Josh; and several great-grandchildren. She also leaves Gail Mannila of Newton; and her good friend of 70 years, Dorothy Byrd of AR. She was predeceased by her parents, husband, and son-in-law.
Relatives and friends are invited to visit with the family on Tuesday, May 26, from 12 to 1 p.m. followed by a service at 1 p.m. in the Miles Funeral Home, 1158 Main Street, Holden. Burial will follow at Worcester County Memorial Park in Paxton. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Department of Conservation and Recreation, Moore State Park, 1 Sawmill Road, Paxton, MA 01612.