Phyllis Joan Shipley Schreiber passed away on Sunday, Nov. 8.
She lived a life we would all want to live. One overflowing with family and love. She also experienced her share of sadness but she showed us how to live with the sad while enjoying the good. She was exceedingly pragmatic, yet could surprise you with something so silly like a purple mixer or a spur of the moment Christmas Eve road trip to Texas.
She was born March 31, 1935, in Madison, Indiana. She attended Methodist Nursing School and left one semester before graduating to marry the love of her life. She married Paul Edward Schreiber on March 30, 1954. They spent 64 years together working as partners to raise their 5 children and to minister to all those around them.
She believed that we were put here on this earth to help others and her mantra was “God, Others, and then Self.” She lived this mantra as an active, lifelong member of the American Baptist Churches of the USA. She spent nearly 70 years as a first grade Sunday School teacher and dedicated countless hours to missionary work with the American Baptist Women. She also spent 25 years as a Girl Scout leader and mentored many young women as they earned their First Class and Gold Awards. And for more than 60 years she excelled at her favorite role – that of Mom, Army Officer’s wife, minister’s wife and of course Muner.
She taught me how to have equanimity even in the worst of times, that it is always better to pray than to worry, and that Brach’s Bridge Mix can ease many woes. If that doesn’t work, try popcorn and a few episodes of Magnum PI.
She never let me get by with subpar work - I can still hear her saying “If it is worth doing, it is worth doing it right the first time.” But, she would always stop what she was doing and give me a shoulder to cry on and to sing a song to cheer me up. Like her daddy, Mom loved to sing and she sang all the time. And no remembrance of Phyllis Schreiber is complete without mentioning swans. She loved them. She loved them so much her nickname was Momma Swan. And Elvis. Oh how she loved Elvis. And of course Baptist hymns. If I close my eyes and listen, I can hear her loud, clear voice singing “The Old Rugged Cross.”
I love you most Mommy (and we all know who is really your favorite)! We will miss you, but we know you will be taking good care of Daddy. Daddy, your most precious cargo is headed your way. Take good care of her!
She is survived by her 5 children, Cheryl Buseman and her husband Randy, Douglas Schreiber and his wife Julie, Philip Schreiber and his wife Jenni, Ruth Milberger and her husband Jay, Lori Schreiber and her husband Bill Bowsher. Grandchildren Christen, Jennifer, Rebecca, Katherine, Michelle, Brian, Sarah, Jessica, Benjamin, Lucas, Catherin, Madyson, Nikole, Patrick, Nicholas, Stephanie, Hana and Aubree. 18 great grandchildren and counting. She also leaves behind her brother, Robert Shipley. She is preceded in death by her husband Paul and three infant sons, John, David and Edward.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Phyllis’ name to:
One Great Hour of Sharing - http://abc-oghs.org/donate/
One Great Hour of Sharing (“OGHS”) is one of four annual offerings received by American Baptist churches. OGHS makes the love of Christ real for individuals and communities around the world who suffer the effects of disaster, conflict, poverty or severe economic hardship, and for those who find themselves refugees or displaced within their home country.