Phyllis MacGranachan was born March 4th, 1937, in Hamiota to Edith and Alexander Park. The youngest of three children, she had fond memories of living and growing up on the family farm homestead.
As a young girl, with the encouragement from her parents and a special piano instructor, she began developing her musical talent. With special interest in baseball and curling during her teenage years, her mother was always quite concerned she would damage her piano fingers.
Despite her mothers concerns, Phyllis never had any issues and she continued to study piano and share her musical ability with numerous students and formal and informal performances at many venues throughout her life.
After graduating high school in Hamiota, Phyllis was off to Normal School in Winnipeg to become a certified elementary/junior high teacher. Besides her normal studies, she would always make time for music collaborating with other musical classmates. They would play hits of the day such as Blue Suede Shoes for informal dances at the school.
After graduation her first teaching position was at the Foxwarren School. This is where she met and married her partner and husband of 47 years, Ron. They soon had a family that included two sons. Phyllis put teaching on hold in the early years of raising and managing family life.
In this time, there were many family gatherings for special suppers or camping trips with brother Don, sister Edna’s and their growing family of nephews and nieces. It was a family tradition after the meal was finished for Phyllis to play the piano and lead a family sing-a-long.
As the family grew, camping trips were slowed and gave way to many hours supporting their children’s activities at the hockey arena, baseball diamond, swimming at the Birtle Dam and many school activities. Family golf games on weekends also became a lasting favorite activity.
With career stops in Foxwarren followed by Birtle and Russell, Phyllis was always in involved with the local music community teaching music lessons, accompanying church and school, community choirs and school and community and musical theatre productions.
Once family life became less demanding, Phyllis returned to teaching in Birtle Elementary School and later commuted to Rossburn Elementary School from Russell where she finished her teaching career and joined Ron in retirement.
Settling into retirement they would likely be seen at the Russell Golf Course, spending time traveling and camping. They always were involved with their two sons and their families in Brandon supporting the grandchildren in their activities and hosting visits at their home in Russell. As the grandkids grew, they all took pride in driving Grandpa’s golf cart.
At the suggestion of brother Don, they made a trip to Pine to Palm in Texas one winter. This quickly became a favourite spot to spend some of the colder winter months. As you would expect, Phyllis was quick to make musical friends and a regular accompanist at the afternoon and evening musical events.
Predeceased by her brother Don, sister Edna and husband Ron. Phyllis kept busy with her involvement with the Seniors Centre, coffee and happy hour at her new residence, the Lions Manor. She attended community events and played piano in church, accompanied school and community choirs and senior homes up till a couple of years ago when health issues forced her to slow down. She spent the last couple years at the Nest, an assisted living home, close to her two sons and their families in Brandon.
She passed peacefully on October 4th, 2021 with family at her side. Phyllis is survived by Scott (Tracy), Alec, four grandchildren Kyle (Hanna) and Kayla, Brenden and Shayne and three great grandchildren Avery, Liam and Quinn.
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