Honoured by Lauri Mainville
On July 29, 1926 Phyllis Dora was born to Frank and Dora Smith. From a very young age, Phyllis wanted to participate fully in life and be physically active. Growing up in the 1930s there were no school buses so Phyllis walked or rode her bike everywhere; to school, Sunday school, mission band and to CGIT. In high school she placed second in the junior ski championship slalom event at Laurentian Ski Hill. Phyllis was also a great gymnast; cartwheels were effortless for her. She was very adventurous and enjoyed nature and spending time outdoors.
In 1942 at the age of 16, Phyllis and three of her friends worked for Coles catering at the munitions plant in Ajax. In 1945, she started her nursing training at the Toronto East General Hospital and graduated as a Registered Nurse in 1948. Phyllis worked at a hospital in Ajax and at the Toronto East General Hospital. On April 14th, 1950 Patrick Nicholson and Phyllis Dora Smith were united in marriage. After Phyllis was married she left her nursing career to stay at home and raise her three children Mike, Tim and Laurie.
Phyllis was mutli-talented, and would take on any task. She loved refinishing antique furniture, planting flower gardens with beautiful beds of begonias, partridge hunting, playing bridge, and bowling. Phyllis loved to read and was very interested in history. She loved animals, especially cats. Her hands were also a gift. She learned to knit as a young girl and during the summer she would unwind a previous sweater and make a new one for school. She knit beautiful sweaters for many people. Phyllis sewed most of her daughter’s school clothes and also hand smocked dresses for her. She made beautiful drapes, handmade quilts and needle point pieces.
When Phyllis moved to Premier Road in 1979 it was her dream come true to have built a home on the family lot that her Dad had purchased in 1926 and where she had spent her summers. She was affectionately known on Premier Road as the “Lady of the Lake”. She had a passion for every aspect of lake-living especially swimming in the summer and cross country skiing in the winter.
Phyllis enjoyed traveling. She and her sister Fran went on a trip to England where they spent time sightseeing and exploring. Phyllis was invited to vacation with her friend Scotty and Scotty’s daughter Susan in 1983. They went to Disneyland and screamed and yelled on every ride. They roamed the beach on Treasure Island, collected shells and swam in the Gulf. For several years to follow, Phyllis and Pat joined Scotty, Susan and a group of friends on Treasure Island and enjoyed wonderful vacations.
The smallest things in life pleased Phyllis. Her laugh was infectious and she was full of life. She lived her life with a sense of humour. She was a good sport, and intelligent lady and she learned how to manage life’s challenges. She was loyal to her friends. She, Scotty and Hilda were lifelong friends for 76 years. Phyllis was generous and giving of herself and her time. She had a very special spirit and we will forever cherish many fond memories of her and her love of life’s simple pleasures.