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Phyllis Virginia Andersen



Phyllis Virginia Andersen, age 87, formerly of Wyckoff, passed peacefully on Wednesday, November 15, 2017.

She was born in Brooklyn, New York and lived briefly on Long Island before spending her childhood in Ridgewood, New Jersey. Phyllis graduated from Ridgewood High School with the Class of 1948. After high school she enrolled in the Green Mountain Junior College in Vermont. This was an all-girls school and when her mother found out the girls would go to bars on the weekends to try and meet boys she pulled her daughter right out of there. She then went to Ottawa University in Kansas where she received her Associates Degree in Home Economics. Always trying to improve herself, in her early 50’s she enrolled at William Paterson University in Wayne and received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology.

As a young girl out of college Phyllis worked as a bank teller for the Peoples Trust Bank in Ridgewood. In 1952, Andrew joined the youth group at the Broadway Baptist Church in Paterson. The president of the youth group, Phyllis Read, introduced herself to him and they soon began dating. Her parents took a liking to Andrew right away, which surely provided the encouragement he needed to propose marriage. They exchanged nuptials on July 17, 1954 at Broadway Baptist and enjoyed a honeymoon in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. They first settled in Clifton, then lived in Wayne, before Andrew was able to design his dream home which they built in Wyckoff. Together, they raised their family there and enjoyed their home for more than forty seven years before moving to Cedar Crest Village in Pompton Plains. Andrew and Phyllis had sixty years of loving and devoted marriage before his passing in February of 2015.

Phyllis will be remembered for her loving personality, unpretentious willingness to be goofy sometimes, and love of laughter. She was a truly dedicated mother to her three children and deeply loved her four grandchildren; she focused on making her home a warm and inviting place for all. She lovingly cared for both her and her husband’s parents in their autumn years and was the go-to person whenever a family member was sick or in need. Her children fondly remember over forty years of two week summer vacations at the Twin Lake Village in New Hampshire. Phyllis also cherished the time with her grandchildren often playing board games with them and was always very proud of their accomplishments. Her love of games lasted her entire life as she most recently enjoyed playing BINGO and dominos. She was a good cook, fastidious housekeeper and was always vacuuming. When she wasn’t cooking or cleaning she was either eating ice cream or drinking a glass or two of white wine. Her husband Andrew used to get mad at her because she would have ice cream for lunch! Even most recently she would eat ice cream every day and sometime twice a day. She was also an animal lover and always had a special spot in her heart for her two poodles Jackie and Rusty.

Phyllis was very dedicated to her Christian faith. This faith was born from a seed planted by her paternal grandfather who was a Baptist minister. She was an active member of the Broadway Baptist Church in Paterson, the Ramapo Valley Baptist Church in Oakland, and later the Hawthorne Gospel Church in Hawthorne.

Phyllis and Andrew both enjoyed traveling and toured throughout Europe, Scandinavia, Israel and Egypt, the Far East, Ireland, Scotland and England, Russia, the Baltics, as well as many vacations to the Caribbean. They wintered at a condo in Venice, Florida and so as not to be a “golf widow” she took up the game of golf. They played together all over the world including during the winter in Venice and at the North Jersey Country Club in Wayne where they were members for many years.

Phyllis was the loving wife of 61 years to the late Andrew Andersen (2015); devoted mother of James Andersen and his wife Elise of Wayne, Beth Andersen-Pochtar and her husband Paul of Basking Ridge, and Barbara Andersen of Newton, MA; she was the cherished grandmother of Darby Pochtar, Jacob Andersen, Hayley Pochtar, and John Andersen.

Friends may visit with the family from 5-7 PM on Friday, November 17, 2017 at the Vander May Wayne Colonial Funeral Home, 567 Ratzer Road, Wayne.

Funeral services will be held 12 Noon on Saturday, November 18, 2017 at the funeral home.

Interment will be in George Washington Memorial Park, Paramus.

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