Biography: PHYLLIS JANE REEVE
SYLVAN BEACH- Phyllis Jane Reeve, 77, Park Avenue, died Saturday, August 8, 2020, in the Oneida Healthcare, shortly after her arrival at the emergency room.
Born in North Tonawanda, on October 14, 1942, she was the daughter of Raymond and Sylvia Knoell Hutt. A resident of Sylvan Beach for the past ten years, moving from Penfield, NY, Jane was a graduate of North Tonawanda High School and attended the University of Buffalo. She married Dick Reeve in North Tonawanda, on June 10, 1961.
Jane had a tremendous love for her family, and enjoyed knitting, photography, cooking, baking and gardening.
Surviving besides her husband, Dick, are her three daughters and their husbands, Suzanne and James Plouffe of Irondequoit, NY, Kathleen and James Feldman of Campbell, NY and Kimberly and David Ellis of East, Falmouth, MA; her two sons and their wives, David and Tara Reeve of Vienna, NY and Rick and Angela Reeve of Montara, CA; her eighteen grandchildren, Chris, Jonathan, Siobhan, Adam, Ben, Alex, Lucas, Liliana, Zachary, David Brian, Noah, Meghan, Billy, Jacob, Daniel, Michaela, Evan and Kate; her brother and his wife, Richard and Sheila Hutt of Adrian, MI, sister-in-law Suzanne Hutt of Grand Island NY; and many nieces and nephews.
Jane was known for her devotion to her family. She worked to keep those around her happy and in her eyes that meant you needed to have something to eat. If you stopped in, you were often greeted with a “have a seat, what can I fix you?”. She particularly loved to bake her famous chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, and peanut butter blossom cookies and who doesn’t love a fresh baked cream roll with a few fresh strawberries! She made the best pies with a crust that can’t be beat, even by Pillsbury. And all were made to share, in fact there is a batch in the freezer waiting for a friend right now. Her sweets repertoire included her grandmother’s kuchen recipe and sticky buns and the smell often filled the house in the early morning hours as she made a fresh batch for her visiting family. The breakfast fare was better than any Denny’s or breakfast Diner around and it was rare that she could not fill any special request. As the Roy Oberson song says “you want it, you got it!” If you hadn’t guessed, Jane always aimed to please and she had a bit of a sweet tooth. She was at times up for ice cream for dinner and who doesn’t enjoy eating dessert first?
She loved her gardens and you could often find her watering her rose bushes, hydrangeas, and the petunias that she so loved. But above all else, Jane enjoyed her raspberry patch where the bounty was so great that she has been known to make over 200 jars of jam in a season and several batches of fresh made hand-cranked raspberry ice cream using the secret Reeve family recipe. The finished products were always generously shared with both family and friends. The one stipulation was to please return the jar for use in the next season! Her gardening skills didn’t end at the raspberry patch. She took care of mowing the lawns and shoveling the driveways and her giving spirit was evident there as well. You could often find her helping out the neighbors who were out of town or just in need.
She enjoyed being active, although in the more recent years a few of her children did admonish her for getting on the roof to remove the snow and ice. Her morning ritual in the summer or dead of winter was going for a walk. This was more the speed that her kids were comfortable with. She loved having her grandchildren near and often enjoyed gathering up a few and walking down to the post office to get the mail. She could also be seen on the basketball court encouraging her grandsons and attempting somersaults with her granddaughters. She was game to take part in the water wars at the lake that would spontaneously erupt among the grandchildren...ok maybe a bit of encouragement from Dick.
For a girl who grew up in the city of North Tonawanda, she didn’t necessarily start out being the outdoorsy type but she became the resident fish “fileter” for all of the fish that Dick and the grandkids brought in after a morning of fishing. She was willing to spend time at the local pond gathering pollywogs with the grandkids. Something a bit more heroic than you would think as she was especially afraid of snakes. From the fish in the sink to the polliwogs in the pond, Jane was game, if it brought a smile to the face of those she loved.
On the rare occasion that Jane sat down, you could often find her knitting needles in hand, making a sweater, blanket, or Christmas stocking for the next grandchild, great grandchild or the child or grandchild of a friend. On the occasion that she would put down her knitting needles it was because one of the grandchildren had come to her with a book and request for her to read it. She was more than happy to... she was never happier than with a baby in her arms and a little one by her side. Generosity was her core. She gave a friendly hello and a warm smile to all she encountered. She loved the neighbors who would walk by the house and just wave hello as they went on their walk and would often pull up a chair on the porch for some friendly conversations on their way back home. The block parties brought all these wonderful neighbors together and Jane was in her element. She loved people. She loved conversation. She loved. Her hugs made you feel all the love that she poured into everything that she did.
As I sat down at the patio table to finish writing this, I found spider webs encasing a portion of the chairs... just one more thing Jane took care of. This, all of this, is who Jane was ... and as Dick said “the best decision I ever made was choosing Jane as the mother of my children.” The sunset will be happening soon and Jane loved to call out to see who wanted to join her to watch the end of another day. The next time you watch the sunset, think of Jane. We will. We will miss her dearly, but she will be loved always!
Funeral services will be held Saturday August 15, 12 noon, from the Campbell-Dean Funeral Home, Inc., 260 Main Street, Oneida, with the Reverend Katie Yahns, officiating. Interment will be made at the convenience of the family in the Oneida Community Cemetery. Friends may call at the funeral home, 10 AM- noon, prior to the services. In lieu of flowers contributions, in her memory, may be made to :The Dick (St. Jane) Reeve Fund, Office of Development, Rochester Institute of Technology, P.O.Box 92765, Rochester NY 14692-8865
To leave a message of condolence, please visit www.campbell-dean.com.
CAMPBELL-DEAN FUNERAL HOME, INC.