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Memories & Candles

“Bruce, Brent and family: so sorry to learn of the passing of Phyllis. Such a lovely lady who was always so kind to our family. You are in our...Read More »
1 of 15 | Posted by: Roland & Doris Voyer - Calais, VT

“Hello Bruce, sending love your way at this time. won't forget the story of the tire chains. Love Joanne ”
2 of 15 | Posted by: Joanne Luce - Cabot, VT

“Dear Bruce and Brent, We were so saddened to read about Phyllis, and to such a horrible disease. We have fond memories of you all over the years, and...Read More »
3 of 15 | Posted by: George and Liz Patch - Sherwood, OR

“Dear Bruce, Brent, and all your family; condolences, prayers, and fond wishes at the passing of beloved Phyllis. She touched many lives with her...Read More »
4 of 15 | Posted by: A friend

“Bruce and Brent, We are thinking of you all & keeping Phyllis in our thoughts and prayers. She was a wonderful, caring woman who gave so much to U32...Read More »
5 of 15 | Posted by: Kathy and Jim Segar - Mesa, AZ

“So sorry for your loss. She was a wonderful person and will be greatly missedCarol Currier ”
6 of 15 | Posted by: A friend

“Thinking of you and your family at this time. Wishing you peace. ”
7 of 15 | Posted by: Sue Carey - VT

“Bruce,My condolences on Phyllis's passing.I'll miss her warmth , wit and energy. ”
8 of 15 | Posted by: Jane Conn - East Montpelier, VT

“My thoughts and prayers are with your family during this difficult time. May the promise in 1 Thessalonians 4:14 comfort your family. ”
9 of 15 | Posted by: A friend

“My thoughts and prayers are with you all. My grandson loved seeing her walk the mall with her husband.God Bless you all. Rest in peace dear lady! ”
10 of 15 | Posted by: Cyndi Thompson - East Calais, VT

“Bruce and Family. We all are so sad with the passing of your wonderful wife, Phlyllis. Our deepest condolences! Sending our loving thoughts and...Read More »
11 of 15 | Posted by: Steve Clark - East Montpelier, VT

“Hello Bruce...so many good memories of Phyllis and you - at least she is at peace now - as we all will be - Eva Morse]former Calais Town Clerk ”
12 of 15 | Posted by: A friend

“Phyllis was a wonderful person. I have not seen her for a very long time, but I thoroughly enjoyed working with her at National Life many years ago....Read More »
13 of 15 | Posted by: Laurie Hearrell - Charlotte, NC

“I remember working with both Phyllis and Bruce at the U-32 basketball games and the booster club meetings. She was always fun to work with. May she...Read More »
14 of 15 | Posted by: Cheryl Baker - East Montpelier

“Bruce: Sincere condolences on the loss of your lovely wife. May you rest easy knowing you did so much to make her comfortable. ”
15 of 15 | Posted by: Susan Poczobut


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Phyllis G. Bottamini, 76, a resident for nearly 45 years of Adamant, Vermont died early Saturday morning at Spring Village at Essex, a memory care facility, after a lengthy battle with Alzheimer’s. Her family was at her bedside. Phyllis was born in Albany, Vermont in February 1942, the daughter of Maynard and Erdine Gonyaw. She attended and graduated from schools in Vermont and then subsequently joined National Life Insurance Company in Montpelier, Vermont where she worked in its Investment Department and later in Equity Services for 15 years. Phyllis was married to Bruce R. Bottamini. The couple would have celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary on May 19. Those who knew Phyllis quickly learned that she could be spirited, determined, and occasionally feisty…but with a kind and loving heart. Her future father-in-law counseled his son with the words… “You better nab her” … shortly before he proposed to her. Her in-laws thought the world of Phyllis, and the feeling was mutual. Growing up on a farm taught her the meaning of hard work and self-reliance. Her husband frequently acknowledged that Phyllis’ skills such as putting tire chains on their vehicle on a snowy, slippery winter’s night was far better than his. She even managed to learn how to drive a bulldozer in order to help her brother, Philip, gather sap during one particular sugaring season. Phyllis was an avid reader during much of her life. She enjoyed snowmobiling with her lifelong friends, Betty Ann and Rachel, and particularly treasured the beauty of her surroundings in Adamant. In January 1976 she became the proud mother of a son, Brent. She left National Life at that time and was fortunate to become a stay-at- home mother who became actively involved with many of her son’s activities, as well as volunteering with a variety of organizations. A long-time member of the United Church of Christ, Phyllis served on various church committees and even taught Sunday school. She helped coach a Little League baseball team and put together an annual publication that helped to fund the League. And as her son grew older, she continued to be actively involved in his activities serving as a score keeper for the high school baseball team, working on building dug-outs, helping to improve athletic fields at U-32 Middle and High School, and perhaps, most importantly, becoming an unofficial mom to so many youngsters she came in contact with through these various endeavors. Affectionately known as “Mrs. B.”, she had a special way of connecting with children and young adults. She could reprimand a youngster if she felt it was necessary…but at the same time could be highly supportive of them. A recurrent theme to Phyllis when she was ill was trying to help children who she thought were in danger. Perhaps Phyllis’ connection to youngsters can be best summarized by the following inspirational quote. “A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove…but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child.” For many years, Phyllis was a volunteer at U-32 working in the library and also in the front office. Her ongoing contact with both students and staff at U-32 brought her lasting joy. She was an especially avid and faithful fan of both the girls’ and boys’ basketball teams at U-32. She loved cheering and encouraging everyone on those teams. While here husband videotaped many of those contests, it was Phyllis who served as his “production engineer” copying and distributing without charge literally hundreds of those tapes (which were narrated by several local radio announcers) to athletes at U-32 and even to players at surrounding schools. It was always hoped that these tapes in later years might provide a special viewing pleasure for not only the players but for their families as well. This endeavor continued as several area student athletes went on to play for the University of Vermont’s women’s basketball team. It was highly satisfying to her to be able to share these tapes so that all of the members of team could send at least a tape or two to a parent or grandparent who might have been unable to attend games. In 2010, Phyllis quietly helped support in a variety of ways family members of the Vermont National Guard soldiers who had been deployed overseas. Phyllis was a kind, caring, and compassionate person who would do whatever she could to help a friend or even a stranger in need. A particularly special joy for her was seeing and visiting with her family, especially her two beloved grandchildren, Jack and Alexandra. Baking cookies, playing hide and go seek, pushing them on their swing set or serving as a traffic cop at the busy intersection of “Kitchen” and “The Family Room” at the Bottamini residence were simple but wonderful sources of enjoyment for her and her grandchildren. She enjoyed her many journeys to Maine walking the beaches or along the highly scenic Marginal Way in Ogunquit. She never tired of the beauty of the ocean. Phyllis battled Alzheimer’s with courage and determination. Although the illness affected her memory, she would still frequently greet family and caregivers with a hug, a smile, and a kiss. There were difficult moments to be sure…but her humanity for much of the journey remained very much intact. Phyllis is survived by her husband, Bruce, who currently resides in Essex Junction, her son and daughter-in-law, Brent and Deirdre Bottamini, her grandson, John, and granddaughter, Alexandra, of Marlboro, Massachusetts, a brother, Ronald, of West Charleston, Vermont, her brother-in-law and his wife, Michael and Diane Bottamini of Essex Junction, Vermont, a sister-in-law, Alice Gonyaw of Westfield, Vermont, and a niece and several nephews. Her brother, Philip, predeceased her in 2014. There are no calling hours. A memorial service for Phyllis will be held at the First Congregational Church of Essex Junction at 3:00 PM on May 12,

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