Phyllis Jean Wilson Gross, born on August 17, 1944, in Cifax, Virginia, to Gilbert and Sadie Wilson, departed this world on November 21, 2023. Surrounded by the love of her family, Phyllis left behind a rich tapestry of memories and a profound impact on those who were fortunate enough to know her.
Phyllis married Richard Howard Gross on March 25, 1965. Together, they nurtured a family filled with warmth, love, and enduring connections, raising three children: Richard, Catherine, and Megan. Her unwavering dedication to family became the cornerstone of a life well-lived, leaving a legacy of love. Phyllis was predeceased by her daughter, Catherine, in 1994. She is survived by her loving husband, Richard, and their children, Richard and his wife Katei, and Megan and her husband Daniel.
Phyllis was a woman of extraordinary talents, passions, and sharp wit. An avid reader and a self-taught expert in various subjects, she was a prolific writer who shared her insights and creativity through numerous manuscripts, short stories, poems, and articles. Her dream of becoming a famous author found expression in her published work, “Eating Local in Virginia,” a compilation of stories, recipes, and a directory of farms and restaurants throughout her beloved home state.
Beyond her literary pursuits, Phyllis embraced the challenges and joys of rural life. In Tennessee, she managed a horse farm where she raised Connemara ponies and other breeds, as well as 3-Day Event horses. Her support for Catherine’s equestrian passion illuminated the path of her daughter’s short but vibrant life.
Phyllis’s commitment to health through natural means, gardening, and cooking with love was evident on her farm in Bedford, Virginia. A master gardener and cultivator of permaculture and edible landscapes, she left a legacy through thoughtful planting in each home she tended to.
Her artistic spirit was reflected in her sewing and crafting, leaving behind tangible expressions of her boundless creativity that will be cherished by those lucky enough to possess them. Phyllis was a remarkable woman whose legacy of love, creativity, and dedication to family will endure through the lives she touched. May her memory be a source of inspiration and comfort to all who knew her.
The family extends heartfelt appreciation to the medical staff at Carilion for their compassionate care during Phyllis’s final days.
A graveside service will be held at 10am on Thursday, December 28, 2023, at Cedar Hills Memorial Gardens. Higgins Funeral Home is honored to serve the family of Phyllis Jean Wilson Gross.