Phyllis A. Gretz, of Punxsutawney passed away on March 20, 2020 at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh. She was 87 years old.
It was in 1955 that Phyllis moved to Punx’y as a young bride with a new pharmacy school graduate Al Gretz. They lived there the rest of their lives, raising a family, running a business and spending countless hours involved in community and charitable affairs over the next 65 years.
Phyllis was born on December 17, 1932 in Mars, Pa., the fourth and youngest child of Irene (Grimes) and Thomas Murray. She graduated from Indiana High School in 1950 and from the St. Francis Hospital School of Nursing in 1953. Phyllis spent two years working at Municipal Hospital in Pittsburgh, where some of the patients she nursed were part of Dr. Jonas Salk’s clinical trials for a polio vaccine. Over the rest of her working life, Phyllis served as a registered nurse at Adrian Hospital and then Punxsutawney Hospital. She was very active in the American Cancer Society over 40 years, and was honored by the group with the Dorothy Griffin Award for service in 1990 and the Quality of Life Award in 1992. It was in 1991 that Phyllis was named the Punxsutawney Woman of the Year at the annual Groundhog Day Banquet. When asked to talk about her many charitable and community efforts, Phyllis said: “I help because it’s what I like to do.” She was a parishioner all her adult life at Ss. Cosmas & Damian Church and was involved in more social groups than her children could count, even to her last days.
Phyllis was preceded in death by her mother and father, two brothers, a sister and her husband. She is survived by her three children, Bob, Sharon and Brian, five grandchildren (Lauren, Jesse, Caitlin, Elizabeth and Luke), soon to be seven great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.
A graveside service was held for Phyllis at Calvary Cemetery in Punxsutawney, with a memorial service planned by the family at a date.
Those wishing to honor Phyllis are encouraged to make a memorial donation in her name to the American Cancer Society.
The McCabe Funeral Home of Punxsutawney, have been entrusted with the arrangements.