Phyllis F. Krabill passed into the Lord on August 24, 2022. Born on January 31, 1925, Phyllis was, like many of her generation, a “child of depression.” This fact and the resulting frugality informed much of the rest of his life.
Phyllis was born on a 100 acre farm on Fixler Road in Sharon Township. The farm had been cleared of virgin timber by his great-grandfather, Joseph Fixler. Hence, Phyllis was a member of the first families of Medina County. Attending school at the Sharon Center, she completed grades 1 through 11 there, graduating a year in early 1942 at the start of America’s entry into World War II. It was also in the summer of that same year that the family barn burned down. Although traumatic for Phyllis and her family, she fondly remembers the barn being rebuilt in a short time by neighbors who had a “raised barn” to help the family.
After graduating, Phyllis began her college education at Mount Union College (now “the University”). Since most able-bodied men and many medical professionals were away during World War II, Phyllis worked at the switchboard at Alliance Hospital for much of her time in college. Phyllis also became a member of the Delta Delta Delta sorority. Given the shortages caused by the war effort, Phyllis recalls that you could eat anything you wanted, as long as it was “ram, lamb or mutton”. Because she attended Mount Union year-round, she graduated a year early after the 1945 summer semester, just as the war was ending.
Roger and Phyllis first met when she was five and he was seven while their parents were attending a bridge club party. According to Roger, Phyllis was a “red-haired kid”, and according to Phyllis, Roger was “a stuck-up snob”. These impressions lasted for a while, but not for long. They met again in 1942 when Roger was home on military training leave in Nebraska, and it began their romance. After the war, Roger graduated from Purdue University after the 1946 summer semester and the couple married later that same year in December 1946. Phyllis was already working for the Veterans Administration, eventually finishing there five years before starting a family.
Phyllis and Roger had two children, Jeff in 1951 and Jane in 1954. She stayed home to raise the children, but continued to work. One of the first to work from home, Phyllis transcribed surgical dictation from Wadsworth Hospital, then worked for Dun & Bradstreet. She also became a substitute teacher during these years of raising children.
Phyllis and Roger owned three houses, but only had one mortgage. True to their Depression-era experiences, they worked and saved until they had enough money to buy each of their first two homes (Lyman Street and Gordon Avenue). Their third home where Phyllis spent her years is on Woodland Avenue which they purchased in 1965. She went to work full time in order to pay off that home as quickly as possible, teaching mostly 5th grade for Norton City Schools from 1965 to 1989. when she retired.
Phyllis and Roger loved many things, but perhaps none more so than dancing. As she would say, “If music was playing, the Krabills were on the floor.” Later, Phyllis engaged her interest in history by becoming a member of the Medina County Genealogy Society, the Sharon Township Historical Society, and the Wadsworth Area Historical Society, being named a life member of the latter two. She was also a member of the James Fowler chapter of the DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution), an interest she turned into a passion for tracing her family’s origins.
Attributing her love of dogs to her childhood best friend, a white collie, she was a lifelong dog lover. She also enjoyed the Wadsworth Community Band and attended worship services at three local nursing homes for many years. After Roger’s death in 1990, Phyllis became an avid practitioner of yoga and tai chi.
Phyllis was predeceased by her husband of 45 years, Mr. Roger Krabill. Also preceding her in death were her father and mother, Blake and Lenore Fixler, and two uncles, Neath and Louis Wilson and their wives, Marguerite and Marjorie. More recently, in 2021, her daughter-in-law, Lauralee S. Krabill, also predeceased her.
Phyllis is survived by her son, Jeffrey Neath Krabill; and his daughter, Jane Todd (Hamilton); grandchildren, Megan Todd, Jonathan Neath Krabill (April) and Leeanna Gardner (Sean), as well as five great-grandchildren, Jackson Krabill, Jarrett Krabill, Grayson Krabill, McKenlee Gardner and Annabel Gardner.
Those wishing to contribute to Phyllis’ memory are encouraged to consider the following: Norton Scholarship Fund (c/o 4128 S Cleveland-Massillon Rd., Norton, OH 44203), Wadsworth Community Band (c/o 259 Woodland Ave, Wadsworth , OH 44281), or Tunnel to Towers Foundation (2361 Hylen Blvd., Staten Island, NY 10306).
The family would like to thank Bianca Sterling whose kind and determined care enabled Phyllis to remain in her home until the time of her passing. They would also like to thank Phyllis’s neighbors and her many friends whose unwavering friendship and dedication made her last years a true blessing.
Friends and family will be received Sunday, August 28 from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Hilliard-Rospert Funeral Home, 174 N. Lyman Street, Wadsworth, where a memorial service will follow at 1:30 p.m. with Pastor Barbara Bartholomew officiating . Interment will be in Woodlawn Cemetery.
Posted on August 25, 2022
Posted in Akron Beacon Journal