Phyllis Anne Grenda, of Winchester, passed away unexpectedly in the presence of her children and husband on Sunday, May 29, 2022, in Dartmouth Medical Center, Lebanon. She was 55.
Phyllis was born in Palmer, Massachusetts on June 6, 1966, to Kathleen (Allen) and John Mandigo. She was the daughter-in-law to the late Raymond Fleming and Irene and Chet Grenda.
She was raised in Greenfield, Massachusetts where she attended Franklin County Technical School with the class of 1982. Phyllis left before graduating to marry and start a family and earned her GED in 1985. While in school Phyllis enjoyed playing on the ice hockey team with her sister, Vicki. She enjoyed spending her afternoons and evenings with her family and friends, a pastime that would continue throughout the rest of her life. And as a teenager, she could be found at the racetrack on the weekends with her father and siblings racing BMX.
Phyllis settled in New Hampshire in 1995 where she met her husband, Chet Grenda in July of 1999. They were married on November 2, 2002, and would have celebrated 20 years of marriage this coming fall. She continued her education at St. Joseph’s School of Practical Nursing and graduated in January 1996. Phyllis spent the next 25 years of her career working as an LNA throughout Cheshire County. As the ultimate caretaker, she spent her life-changing, impacting, and saving the lives of others.
Phyllis was known for her fierce personality and nurturing ways. If you knew her at all, you knew this to be true. She almost always hosted family gatherings and was seen as the focal point of all family affairs. She loved to cook and found comfort in the kitchen sharing her “secret recipes” with her children and grandchildren. Phyllis was reliable in times of need for others as well and never hesitated to help a friend. Whether it was setting up, decorating, cooking, entertaining during, or cleaning up, it was sure that, one: she knew what she was doing when it came to throwing a party and, two: people were going to show up.
In the event that you needed her for something or just wanted to chat, Phyllis could usually be found at her home on Forest Lake, in her backyard tending to her flowers or garden, playing in the yard, or swimming in her pool with her grandchildren, or sitting on her deck in the sun with her cats and dog enjoying a cold drink and a “short glass”. Phyllis had much to be proud of in her life, but her family and her garden were by far her greatest treasures.
Afternoons in the backyard at the Grenda household were always filled with love and laughter, family and friends, and more memories made than anyone could count. She visited or called her mother every day as she valued time spent with loved ones above all else. Phyllis was adamant that “You can’t waste time, we don’t have enough of it.”
Phyllis loved the ocean and vacationed there with family and friends as often as possible. She enjoyed playing softball and throwing horseshoes and never backed down from a backyard barbecue yard game. She liked to throw darts and shoot pool and enjoyed playing the machines. She was known to hold her own in a pitch tournament or a cribbage match and was known for the occasional, “one, two, three, four, five, SIX!!!!”, chant during a game of Yahtzee (or six).
She was often referred to as, “The Town Nurse” as many times the injured would show up looking for bandages or a home splint or in need of some other medical attention. She always helped, never turned anyone away, and usually was all the means necessary for a full recovery, or at least provided enough care and attention to send them back into the adventure that got them hurt in the first place. Phyllis was life, and she was love. She was brutally honest and she was loyal. If you were “hers” you were hers forever and she would defend and protect you from any and all. Her light continues to shine on through those whose lives she touched.
Phyllis is survived by her husband, Chet Grenda of Winchester. Her mother, Kathleen Fleming of Troy, NY, her father John Mandigo of Charlemont, MA, and her mother and father-in-law, Irene and Chet Grenda of Oak Island, NC. Her children: Ernest White Jr and his wife Rachel of Springfield, VT, her Daughter Ashley White of Swanzey, NH, and her daughter Miranda White of Winchester. Her grandchildren: Gavin, Avery, Brielle, Harper, Makenzie, and Noah. Her siblings: Vicki Hooper and her husband Craig of Winchester, her brother Jack Mandigo of Pembroke, NC, her sister, Elizabeth Hamilton of Troy, NY, her stepsister, Terri Fleming Hanson and her husband Tom of Latham, NY, and her stepsister, Kathy Fleming Stein of Loudonville, NY. Her niece and nephews: James Anthony, Kaitlyn, Adam, Timothy, and Carter, and many more adorned family and friends including her best friend and sister by choice, Lisa Claflin of Springfield, VT. Phyllis was predeceased by her father-in-law, Raymond Fleming.
Whether you knew Phyllis as, “hun”, “ma”, “mom”, “momma”, “ma dukes”, “titi”, “Phyl”, “Dill”, “Phylli”, “Diller”, “Brenda” or some other acquired nickname, rest assured that she earned and answered to them all. Phyllis was a woman who knew everyone, and everyone who knew her were blessed to have been able to do so.
“Stay on the dark side…” and we’ll meet you there, darling.
Calling Hours will be held on Wednesday, June 8, 2022, from 6 to 8 pm. in the funeral chapel. A graveside service will occur on Thursday, June 9, 2022, at 11 am. in the family lot at Evergreen Cemetery, Forest Lake Rd. Winchester, NH. 03470. In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations be mailed to offset the funeral expenses to:
P.O. Box 19
West Swanzey, NH. 03446.
All services are under the care of Cheshire Family Funeral Chapel, 44 Maple Ave. Keene, NH. 03431. www.cheshirefamilyfh.com.