"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all" (Hellen Keller) is an adage Phyllis often quoted and lived. Phyllis Marie Wesley, 65, passed away peacefully at her childhood home in Chancellor, Alabama, June 23, 2020. She was born September 15, 1954, in Enterprise, Alabama. She enjoyed an idyllic childhood attending Mt Pleasant Junior High School and was a member of Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church. Phyllis was diagnosed with a rare brain disease, Frontal Temporal Dementia. This unfortunate neurological syndrome robbed her of the ability to speak and comprehend language. A tragedy for a brilliant mind. The later stages of the disease caused loss of executive function and motor skills. She chose to participate in a study of this disease and a post humous donation of her brain for science to benefit others. Phyllis was the proverbial middle child, always the peace-keeper, of 5 children. She was the youngest of Dot and Kirby's older family and the oldest of the younger set. She handled that position with aplomb. She was an excellent communicator with great interpersonal skills and was prominently empathetic. She was a kind and loving sister, a loyal and trustworthy friend, a mentor to many and enjoyed having fun. Phyllis was lauded for her dry sense of humor and droll wit. She was always a smart student, scoring 11th grade reading level on achievement tests in second grade. The school had to expand the library for her! Throughout her life, you'd often find her in a book nook. At Enterprise High School, Phyllis was an honor student and enjoyed her position on the Encoala and school newsletter staff. She also excelled in photography. She graduated in 1976 from Auburn University with a degree in Journalism. She furthered her education with additional journalistic courses at University of Tennessee. After a stint with the Enterprise Ledger, Phyllis advanced through the ranks to become state editor of the Montgomery Advertiser. She wrote for the Palm Beach Post business desk for a few years then returned to the Advertiser. She often stated the favorite part of her job was meeting interesting people across Alabama and telling their stories. She possessed an acute sense of curiosity and respect for people and ideas that added color, vibrancy, passion and pleasure to her life. She loved travel at home and abroad and could regale her listeners with stories of those adventures. In 1991, she joined Alabama Industrial Development Training in communication/public relations. She was proud of the AIDT workforce development and delivery systems for Alabama industry. Phyllis served on numerous committees and boards throughout her career.She retired in 2009 due to her illness. Phyllis lived in her home in Montgomery for more than 30 years. She enjoyed a vast variety of interests. Gardening and yardwork, decorating her home, music, cooking, traveling, spending time with her family, but foremost was reading. She stated she loved adventures and was most often an armchair traveler. She will be remembered by family and friends of living life fully and in the moment. Her favorite salute is "Here and Now". Phyllis was preceded in death by her maternal grandparents James M. and Bessie C Lee; paternal grandparents, Moses and Bernice Wesley; father, Kirby Edward Wesley, Sr, and brother, Kirby Edward (Ed) Wesley, Jr. She is survived by her mother Dorothy Lee Wesley, Chancellor, AL; sisters, Angie Dormuth (Jim), Birmingham, AL; Annette Gunter (Charles), Fort Worth, TX ; Paula Evans (John), South Bay, FL, and sister in law, Tammi Wesley (Ed), Chancellor, AL. She is loved and remembered by nieces and nephews, cousins and a host of friends. Graveside services to be held at Meadowlawn Cemetery, Enterprise, AL, on Saturday, June 27, 2020, at 3 pm. Visitation will be prior at Searcy's Funeral Home at 1 pm. Donations may be made in memory of Phyllis to your favorite charity or the Respite for All Foundation, 2622 Fernway Drive, Montgomery, AL 36111, or your local Hospice. You may sign the register book or send condolences to the family at our website: www.searcyfuneralhome.com.
Wesley, Phyllis Marie