A beloved community spirit who remained a country girl all her life passed away last week after a brief illness.
Phyllis de Jersey, a devout Christian and dedicated member of Wagga and District Historical Society, served the community for most of her life.
A true country lady, Ms de Jersey fell in love with the past when she moved to Wollongong in 1959.
Geoff Burch from the historical society said Ms de Jersey saw an ad for Illawarra Historical Society and, feeling a need to serve the community as well as the church, she got involved.
“Phyllis had a strong connection with history, serving as president there and here for a number of years,” Mr Burch said. “She was lucky, really, despite a bit of arthritis she was bright as a button to the end and we’ll miss her a lot.”
In September, 1973, Ms de Jersey moved to Wagga and once again got involved with the church and history.
Leanne Diessel, who knew Ms de Jersey from church and the historical society, described her friend as a lovely lady.
“We first met through church more than 20 years ago and she was the archivist at St John’s until I took over,” Mrs Diessel said. “Church was one of her big things, her family was the church.”
In recent years, Ms de Jersey kept the archives at the historical society, when she wasn’t busy with her other pursuits.
Archdeacon David Ruthven from St John’s Anglican Church paid tribute to Ms de Jersey’s many years of service with not only the historical society but also Save The Children, Probus, fundraising and the choir.
“While her presence will be sadly missed in our parish, there is no doubt Phyllis is lending her voice to the Heavenly choir and the communion of saints,” he said.
“Her love of God was exemplary and she has been a wonderful role model for those who knew and loved her.”
Mrs Diessel said Ms de Jersey would certainly be remembered.
“Phyllis was a real community-minded spirit, if anybody in the church needed a meal she’d step in,” Mrs Diessel said. “I’m just pleased I was there for her and that she was part of my life.”
A Service of Thanksgiving will be held at St John’s Anglican Church on Tuesday, March 28, commencing at 10am. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend.