Mary Phyllis Stock

December 2, 1921 ~ April 22, 2023 (age 101) 101 Years Old


 It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our mother Mary Phyllis Stock of Woodgrove Manor in Nanaimo, B.C. 

Of her immediate family she was predeceased by her parents Thomas and Florence Lebbetter of Vancouver, B.C. and Winnipeg, Manitoba and her brother Thomas Lebbetter, Jr. of Sydney, B.C. as well as her sister Eileen Wheatley of Ottawa, Ontario and survived by her sister Patricia Keough of West Vancouver, B.C. Her husband Fred passed away in 1987 while they lived in Qualicum Beach on Vancouver Island. As well she is survived by her children Peter, Susan, Geoffrey, Paul, Phillip and Patricia, grandchildren and great grandchildren.  One of her children, Julie, died in infancy in 1960. This was a very grievous blow to both her and her husband and the children living in Foymount, Ontario.                                  

The eldest child of a family growing up in Yarmouth at the southern tip of Nova Scotia, she was always a precocious student excelling at whatever she undertook. Whether it was her studies or piano, in which she achieved grade 8, or even the highland fling so popular in Nova Scotia, she worked hard to master her subject. Graduating early from high school she undertook post secondary studies at St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, Nova Scotia. Pursuing studies in French Literature she graduated 'cum laude' at the age of 19 which was extraordinary. Due to her high standing she was offered a scholarship at the Sorbonne at the Universite de Paris in 1939. As luck would have it World War II had struck and she was unable to attend. She briefly attended Columbia University in New York before deciding to change course by entering Social Work  studies at McGill University in Montreal. All her University pursuits were undertaken through scholarships she had won through excellence and followed up by high standing in marks.   While the war may have thrown up a barrier to her academic pursuits it ironically was also instrumental in meeting her future husband. Fredrick Arthur Stock was an officer and navigator on the renowned Pathfinder Bomber force. A decorated airman who flew over 60 missions it was while on leave in Canada that he met his future bride. Married in Ottawa in 1945 the young couple followed postings in the Royal Canadian Air Force in both Ontario and Quebec. They had 7 children, one of which tragically died as an infant. While this tragic event was certainly a blow to the Stock family, the remaining children were provided with a wonderful almost idyllic childhood raised by loving parents.   

Following Fred's retirement from the R.C.A.F. in 1963 Phyllis moved with her husband and family in Winnipeg to be close to her father Thomas, a heart specialist at the Winnipeg Clinic, and mother Florence and brother Tom Jr., also a doctor at the Winnipeg Clinic. While in Winnipeg she returned to her Social Work roots in 1965 taking refresher courses at the University of Manitoba and returned to work at the Age and Opportunity Bureau in Winnipeg once her children aged from 18 to 8 were in school. Her job consisted of counselling and aiding seniors, many of whom were unable to speak English and were lost in the social assistance of the time. Unsurprisingly to us she excelled at this work and was much praised by her colleagues. Phyllis retired in 1983 along with her husband Fred who was the Western Distribution Manager for Canada Safeway. Together they decided to live a wonderful retirement in Scottsdale, Arizona where they spent 4 wonderful years commuting back and forth to Canada as inveterate "snowbirds". There they made wonderful friends and recouped their youth through fun and well earned ease.                                    

Sadly Phyllis's lifelong mate and companion of 42 married years passed away only a year later when they moved again to Qualicum Beach, British Columbia. Widowed at 66 years old our mother certainly didn't hide away in spite of her grief. To her it was her prerogative and faith that she remain useful to the community and she volunteered in several capacities while living there. Confronted by ailments we all encounter in aging she moved first to Victoria and then finally to Nanaimo on Vancouver Island. While living in other care homes in both places she moved to her final destination of Woodgrove Manor. Visited frequently if not daily by her youngest daughter Trish, Phyllis remained the center of our family and our youngest sister has our deepest gratitude for care and selflessness. Peter, her eldest son, and his wife Janet also did all they could do to make her life more pleasant and that she felt loved. They too have our gratitude and thanks for all they have done for our family. Also I wish to express thanks to the staff of Woodgrove Manor for their patience and cheer in assisting her.       

Phyllis was our beloved mother and a pillar of strength and stability to her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. She lived a very full 102 years of a life well lived. Rarely talking about herself we knew her as a mother and little about her as a girl and young woman. Carried by her deep  private faith that buttressed her from life's pains and sorrows she spent her life with purpose and love. We are all the benefactors of that love and steadfast devotion. I say, on behalf of my family to her, you were loved deeply and most deservedly by all of us.

Memorial service and reception - June 24th 2023 at 11:00 a.m.

                      CHURCH OF THE ASCENSION

               887 Wembley Rd., Parksville BC V9P 2E6



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