FAIRFAX — Phyllis McGovern Soule, 95 a resident of Fairfax, passed away on Monday, June 2, 2014. Phyllis was born in Richmond, Vt., on July 10, 1918, the daughter of Thomas James McGovern and Florence Berry McGovern, proud, second generation Irish immigrants whom she dearly loved.
Phyllis was fortunate to know and appreciate her paternal and maternal grandparents whom taught her many of life’s lessons. They impressed upon her the importance of family and citizenship where all members were allowed to be individuals. Education was an essential ingredient of her personal development – in her life it was demonstrated in a variety of ways.
After graduating from Cambridge High School in 1936 she entered the University of Vermont to earn a Bachelor of Science degree. She participated in numerous organizations and campus activities. She was invited to join Kappa Alpha Theta, was a member of the undergraduate Honor Society, President of Women’s Student Government and achieved entry to the Mortar Board Fraternity, the premier national honor society recognizing college seniors for achievements in scholarship, leadership and service. From these experiences, she further learned the importance of respect, humility and further appreciation for a role in her community.
Being an active Vermonter, she was involved in the State of Vermont and local town government. Although she was a staunch Democrat, she served at the request of four Governors as a member of the Vermont Library Board, Vermont Racing Commission, Vermont Commission for Women and Health, and the Human Services Board. She thoroughly enjoyed participating in Fairfax town government with her roles as Justice of the Peace, Member of the Development Review Board and Zoning Board.
Phyllis married the late, Richard Cutler Soule, Sr. in 1942. She and Richard raised seven children in Fairfax, where she resided for nearly 70 years.
Through life, as recent as living at the Converse Home in Burlington, each day was a day to enlighten and teach all ages. Her teaching career began in Bristol and Springfield, Vermont. After raising seven children, she resumed teaching in Fairfax in 1961. The University of Vermont requested she assume an Instructor position in Nutritional Sciences in the College of Agriculture while completing her Master’s degree. She was also active in the University Extension Service as a participant in the WCAX, Across The Fence programming to educate women about improved nutrition for their families. Phyllis was in the forefront before her time, teaching and aiding in better nutrition for children and families in order to promote a healthy lifestyle. She retired from her University of Vermont Professorial position at the age of 72 in 1989.
Mrs. Soule, as called by her students, was sought out as a mentor and teacher to share her many life-long experiences with hundreds of students who continued to remain dear to her heart.
All of her children survive her, they are, Richard and the late Donna Schwarm Soule, Jr. of Fairfield, Vt., Dr. Thomas and Ruth Soule of Glens Falls, N.Y., James and Evelyn Soule of Denver, Colo., Susan Soule and Dr. Donald McCrann of Falmouth, Maine, Mary Phyllis (Soule) Wright and Dr. George Wright of Bangor, Maine, Michael Soule of Peterborough, N.H., Timothy Soule of Cave Creek, Ariz., formerly of St. Albans and numerous nieces and nephews. She had nine grandchildren, 11 great grandchildren and the eight children and their families of Dr. Donald McCrann.
Deep appreciation is given to her assistants who enabled her to achieve her goals. They include, Mary Spaulding, Johanna Blake and the late, Sadie Burnor. For the past several years, she received wonderful care and friendship from the staff at the Converse Home.
Mrs. Soule will always be remembered as an individual who lived her life doing well by doing good.
The Liturgy of Christian Burial will be celebrated Monday, June 9, 2014 at 11 a.m. from St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church (Immaculate Conception Parish), 45 Fairfield St., St. Albans (City). Father Julian I. Asucan Pastor of Holy Cross Parish in Colchester will be the celebrant and homilist. Immediately following the Mass there will be a reception in the Bliss Room at the St. Albans Historical Society, 9 Church St. The Rite of Committal and Interment will be at 2:30 p.m. in St. Luke’s Cemetery, Fairfax, Vt. There will be no calling hours.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in memory of Phyllis M. Soule to The Converse Home, 272 Church Street, Burlington, Vermont 05401, to provide continuing education for its staff members.
Arrangements are under the direction of The Kidder Memorial Home, 89 Grand Avenue, Swanton 05488
To offer private online condolences please visit: www.kiddermemorialhome.com.