September 2, 1927 – September 24, 2022
Phyllis M. Stoddard, 95, of Yulee, FL died on Sept. 24, 2022 at Community Hospice’s Warner Center in Baptist Medical Center Nassau, Fernandina Beach, FL.
Phyllis was born on September 2, 1927 in Troy, NY to James C. and Marie McGahan. She grew up in Ponte Vedra Beach and attended Fletcher High School in Jacksonville Beach. During her senior year she attended the Marymount School in Tarrytown, NY, where she graduated in 1946. After graduation, she lived in Jax Beach and worked as a window display designer and furniture salesperson at Cohen Brothers in downtown Jacksonville. In 1948, she eloped with her high school sweetheart, Albert A. Stoddard Jr. and they resided in Jax Beach until 1951, when Albert received an officer’s commission in the Navy and was assigned to Norfolk, VA during the Korean War years. In 1954, they moved to Gainesville, FL where Albert attended the University of Florida and she worked as a librarian. In 1957, Albert and Phyllis moved to North Carolina, where they spent the next 25 years. During this period, Phyllis studied and earned a correspondence degree from the New York School of Interior Design and started a successful business as a licensed interior designer in Burlington, NC. In 1981, Phyllis expanded that business and opened another office and showroom in downtown Fernandina Beach. She continued working as an interior designer for clients throughout the Southeast until her 85th year. She mentored several young designers during her long career. She was a volunteer docent for the Amelia Island Museum of History, leading tours of the architectural history of Fernandina. Her and Albert were active members of St. Peter’s Episcopal Parish in Fernandina.
Idle hands and resting feet were not in Phyllis’s repertoire. She was an avid hobby horticulturist, growing orchids in her greenhouses and creating impressive landscapes wherever she lived. She could somehow entertain large groups of guests with proprietary recipes, all with apparent ease. When she took on a project she was “all-in”. She effectively expressed her opinion – often without saying a word. But under that tough exterior was a woman with a caring and loyal heart. Her lifelong friends and loved ones provide the proof.
Phyllis leaves behind her loving son, Bert, also of Yulee. She was predeceased by her loving husband of 72 years, Albert (d. 2019). A memorial service at St. Peter’s Episcopal Parish in Fernandina is being planned for October and will be announced.
In lieu of flowers, and as a memorial, please consider donation to Community Hospice and Palliative Care, 4266 Sunbeam Road, Jacksonville, FL 32257 (CommunityHospice.com).