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Mother, Award Winning Author/Business Woman, Adventurer
Phyllis Margaret Featherston passed away peacefully November 7, 2018, at Norwalk Hospital after a brief illness, surrounded by her loving family. Phyllis was born on November 30, 1924, in Boston, Ma., to John and Ernestine Smith. After graduating with honors from Arlington High School in 1942, Phyllis continued her education at Boston College while simultaneously working for the New England Telephone Company. York Beach Maine, the Smith family’s summer vacation destination since the early 1920s was Phyllis’s favorite destination. This past August, Phyllis returned to celebrate her 90th season at the beach. It was there on a beautiful July summer day in 1946, where Phyllis met and fell deeply in love, with Charles Martin Featherston, a decorated combat infantry officer who had just returned from World War II. Phyllis and Charles married in October 1950, and resettled in Norwalk, Conn. after Charles returned from his deployment to the front lines of Korea. It was in Norwalk, that Phyllis and Charles raised six children and lived their lives.
Phyllis loved her family and her friends, and she loved the Norwalk area. Nothing made her happier than to be surrounded by her six grown children, her 20 grandchildren, her precious four great-grandchildren and all her friends. Family reunions, holidays, especially Christmas Eve at Mary’s house, weddings, anniversaries, church gatherings, or whatever the reason for a get together, were warmly welcomed by Phyllis. Blessed with a wonderfully warm and welcoming personality, Phyllis made friends everywhere she went.
After she finished her Associates Degree from NCC and had retired from the Norwalk Board of Education, she started her successful book career. An accomplished co-author, along with her daughter Barbara, they published seven successful editions of her Bed & Breakfast Guide books of North America, holding book signings throughout the United States for almost two decades. Phyllis was named the Business Person of the Year by the Norwalk Chamber of Commerce in 1990. Her book research allowed Phyllis and Barbara to travel and see the world for many years after the untimely passing of Charles in 1982. Phyllis' last work was her autobiography in 2016 “Nana - My Last Hurrah!”. Phyllis was extremely active in advocating for the creation of the Korean War Memorial in Washington, D.C. to honor those who served and proudly attended it’s opening in 1995.
Devout Roman Catholics, Phyllis and Charles, were one of the original founding families of St. Jerome Church in Norwalk. Together with her church and senior center friends, she enjoyed her weekly exercise classes and playing golf well into her 80s, taking trips to see Broadway shows and so many activities with her friends. Her boundless energy enabled her to attend almost countless Crystal Theater plays, baseball, basketball, soccer, volley ball, football, rugby, swimming and whatever activity her children, grand or great grand-children were interested in. Always reading books, especially her favorite author and pen pal, John Lescroart. Phyllis loved to solve puzzles and play card games with everyone, especially her grandchildren. A volunteer at the Soup Kitchen in South Norwalk for more than 30 years, she was also extremely generous to many charities all over the world.
Phyllis is survived by her children, Barbara Lialios and her husband Dr. Minas Lialios, Charles Martin Featherston Jr. and his fiancée Prez Carneiro, John Featherston and his wife Sheila, Peter Featherston and his wife Christine, Paul Featherston and his wife Kathleen as well as Mary Kokias and her husband Paul. Phyllis, also known as Nana, is also survived by her grandchildren, George and Luz Ostler, Laura and Daryl Robarge, Elizabeth and Dan Gamache, Karen, Jay, (Allie), Colleen, Jennifer, Paschal Chukwu and Ray Featherston. Alex and Oliver Featherston. Charlie, (Claire), Jamie, Danny and Margaret Featherston. PJ, Katherine, Michael, Peter and Carolyn Kokias; and four great-grandchildren. Phyllis is also survived by her younger sister Jean MacKenzie of Sudbury, Ma.
The entire Featherston family would like to thank all those who helped make Phyllis comfortable in her final days, especially Rocio Macintire, the emergency responders and the wonderful staff at the Norwalk Hospital. Phyllis, Nana, Mom was a wonderful, loving and caring person who will be sorely missed by all who had the pleasure to know her. May She Rest in
A Wake will be held Sunday November 11th 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM at Magner Funeral Home. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated 10:00 AM Monday, November 12, at St. Jerome's Church on Half Mile Road, Norwalk, Ct. immediately followed by the burial at Riverside Cemetery in Norwalk, CT. In lieu of flowers, Phyllis would be honored if you would consider a donation to St. Jerome's Church, Half Mile Road, Norwalk, Ct 06851. Our life-long friends, the Magners, of Magner Funeral Home of Norwalk are assisting the Featherston family and we greatly appreciate all they do.