Phyllis Margaret Liesch Beston April 28, 1933-November 19th 2019
Phyllis (“Violets”) was born in the middle of the Great Depression, the fifth and eventually middle child in a family of nine children. Her birth was attended by a mid-wife, at home in a simple homestead in Barnes Crossing, a small township in Northern Saskatchewan no longer on the map. Life was difficult for the family, scraping out an existence on the farm, and at seven years of age Phyllis and the family packed up their belongings moving west to make a better life in BC. They settled for a short time in Clearbrook before purchasing a section of land on Kitty Coleman Road, a short distance from the beach.
On graduating from high school in 1950 Phyllis decided to pursue higher education and the bright lights and single life in Victoria at the Provincial Normal School. Phyllis graduated in 1953 with a teacher’s certificate and her teaching career began at Tsolum Elementary School, teaching grade one and two classes. At this time, she met “Paddy” Patrick Beston, they got to know each other with fun nights at the FBI (Fanny Bay Inn) and even though both families were uncertain about their choices, his family was Catholic and her family was Protestant, they fell in love and in 1956 got married.
Phyllis gave up her teaching career and moved with Paddy to Kelsey Bay, 80 miles from her home, 50 miles over gravel road to live in a Camp house, provided by MacMillan Bloedel. At the time there were no Telephones or TV and it was a long drive the nearest stores, hospitals, doctors and civilization. There were times when they, along with the entire community, struggled to survive and make ends meet, but they were happy. Ten years later they bought a newly built house in “The Townsite”, this was a major lifestyle change but the most appreciated detail was living next door to their best friends Donald & Alice Sprout. The houses were only about 25 feet apart and the 2 families were very close, especially Phyllis & Alice. The years in Sayward kept Phyllis busy, raising three children (Shannon, Maureen and Sean), making a home, and gardening but she and Paddy always made time to be involved in the community and built many lifelong friendships. Phyllis was proud to serve as Alderwoman for two terms in the village of Sayward, as meticulous in those duties as she was with everything she approached, bringing in the side of her personality her family called her “German Engineering” to assist.
Phyllis had a dry wit and was able to find humor in life and this bonded her to her friends and family. She was resourceful & competitive having four older brothers to beat to the table. She was very creative & a pioneer of the DIY home decorating trend on a budget, with a couple of boxes of Fabric dye & some wallpaper she could change a room in a few hours. She developed an early sense of style and loved parties, socializing and spending time with family
and friends right up until her final days. She was an amazing cook that continued the legacy of her mother Lizzie, cooking up Mennonite family favorites like Portzelky and Perishky. She loved strawberry ice cream, Crispy Crunch Chocolate bars, cheeseburgers, pussy-willows and collecting anything unusual (rocks, shells and driftwood). But the most important of anything in her life was her family, including extended family, neighbors and friends.
On Paddy’s retirement in 1990, the couple reluctantly said goodbye to their community of almost 4 decades and moved on to the next chapter of their lives, purchasing their much-loved home on Singing Sands Road in Comox. Phyllis’s life revolved around her family, especially her grandchildren and she was blessed with four (Patrick, Jill, Danika and Megan). This became even more of her world after she lost Paddy in 2001 to ALS, she was happy to spend hours “having tea”, getting a makeover and playing with her grandchildren.
Phyllis was an enthusiastic gardener, cook, baker and fashionista. MacGyver would be impressed with her ingenuity and resourcefulness; she could whip up a homemade musical instrument from an old bleach bottle with only minutes notice. She was never one to back down from any challenge. Phyllis enjoyed any type of vacation or travel from very simple camping in a basic tent at Miracle Beach, to her first real Travel Vacation with Paddy to Mazatlán Mexico, with brother Paul & his wife Sue. After this they enjoyed many other trips from Cruises & European Vacations to an epic Road Trip across the USA with in-laws Dorothy & Howard Filsinger the parents of their Daughter Maureen’s husband Bruce.
About 15 years ago, Phyllis started finding simple details more challenging there were signs that her memory was slipping. Phyllis made it clear that she intended to live out her days in her home, and luckily that wish was fulfilled. Our family was blessed with the timely introduction of Abraham Patacsil in 2009, who began as her care-giver, and became part of the Phyllis’s life, her immediate and extended family, and ultimately Phyllis’s entire community. Abraham brought his Philippine culture’s respect for family & elders as well as a calm patience needed for a caregiver. They had many happy days over the 10+ years they spent together.
Left behind to cherish many happy memories are her children, Shannon, Maureen (Bruce) and Sean (Brenda), her grandchildren (Patrick, Jillian, Danika and Megan), adopted “son” Abraham, siblings Lloyd, Shirley and Blake, sister’s in law Sue and Bev, plus dozens of nieces, nephews, “adopted” grandchildren and great-grandchildren and friends.
In Phyllis’s memory be kind and generous with your love to family, friends and the community, treasure time with your loved ones and live each the moment to the fullest.
The family requests no flowers, but memorials can be made to the charity of your choice.
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