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Phyllis A. Gilliland

October 21, 1926 September 24, 2019
Phyllis A. Gilliland
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Obituary for Phyllis A. Gilliland

Phyllis A. Gilliland, 92, of Defiance, Ohio, passed away peacefully at The Laurels of Defiance on Tuesday, September 24, 2019. Phyllis was born on October 21, 1926 to Garneil and Frances (Spurgeon) Middleton of Ridgeville Corners. On July 3, 1955 she married Maurice W. Gilliland, who preceded her in death in 1985. She worked for what was formally Sylvania TV factory (Phillips) for ten years. Afterwards, she worked as a home care nursing aide for over thirty years. She enjoyed taking care of others and was a good listener. She loved her family and spending time with them; especially her grandchildren.
There is so much that could be shared about Phyllis’ life, but; to be honest, it would take too long and only so much is left after its censored for the general public. Phyllis liked to play Spades and Euchre. She enjoyed them even more when dealing from the bottom of the deck. She didn’t have the patients for slow mind numbing crafts like knitting but somehow she liked to do crosswords. She liked spending time relaxing at her favorite place, Nettle Lake. She made the best homemade sugar cookies. She enjoyed the song, “He’ll Have to Go” by Jim Reeves and often sang it, teaching generations of her family the words. Phyllis was a practical jokester. She loved to play pranks on her friends and family. If you played a joke on her it was guaranteed she will get you back tenfold. She made a habit of following directions literally; the legendary mashed potato story is a great example of this.
Phyllis looked forward to a refreshing cocktail with her dear friends Marcia and Della. They would drink their “orange milk” and enjoy life. They will forever be remembered as the reincarnated Golden Girls. Phyllis and her friends were known to spontaneously go out of state just for coffee after work. She was OCD when it came to cleaning her home. She could often be seen furiously cleaning her home prior to the cleaning lady coming so that they didn’t think her family lived in filth. In fact, she was such a clean freak that she even went as far as washing her dishes while the house literally burned down around her; wouldn’t want the firemen to think she was a slob. If you don’t believe it ask Linda, she’s still traumatized to this day.
Phyllis’ family would like to thank Audrey for the time she spent with her and the comfort she gave by sitting and singing to her. They would also like to thank The Laurels of Defiance and Heartland Hospice for taking care of “Grandma”. Phyllis truly enjoyed her time at the Laurels and being with her friends she made there. Phyllis had a happy, fulfilling life and will dearly be missed. If Phyllis were here she would encourage us to not be sad and keep moving forward because “we aint got time for that”.
Phyllis leaves behind to cherish her memory two daughters, Garna Gineman of Defiance and Linda Craig of Angola, Indiana. She is also survived by her grandchildren, Allen (Barbara) Clingerman, Brandi (Eric) Combs and Nick (Kassey) Gilliland; great-grandchildren, Michael Clingerman, Jim Dewey, Mason Gilliland, Alexa Roth, MacKenzie Combs, Deric Combs; and great-great-grandsons, Elijah and Sebastian Combs. She is preceded in death by her parents, Garneil and Frances (Spurgeon) Middleton, husband, Maurice W. Gilliland, son, Moe Gilliland and siblings, Doris, Louise, Kay, Dick, George, Derry, Ed, Danny, Chuck and Edith. She is also preceded in death by her son-in-law, Ray Gineman.
A Celebration of Phyllis’ life will be held privately at a later date. Arrangements are entrusted with Snyder-Wesche-Hoening Funeral Home of Napoleon. Memorials in her memory may be made to the family, care of the funeral home (830 N. Scott St).

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Event Information

Services are private.

Memorial Contribution


Care of Snyder-Wesche-Hoening Funeral Home 830 N. Scott St. Napoleon, Ohio 43545

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