Pomfret Center – Phyllis W. Woodbridge, 91, of Pomfret Connecticut, passed away peacefully April 26, 2022, with her family by her side.
She was born to the late Willa and Philip Whitehead on July 3, 1930, in the Lying-In Hospital, now known as the Women’s and Infants Hospital, in Providence and raised in the Edgewood Section of Cranston, Rhode Island.
One of six children to the textile worker, Phyllis was always ambitious and driven. During the era she grew up in, opportunities for women were limited. This made her truly an inspiration and a trailblazer for her generation.
Phyllis graduated from Nelson W. Aldrich High School, in Warwick, Rhode Island in 1947. She attended Barrington College where she studied business finance and graduated in 1949. After graduation, Phyllis met her late husband, Jesse Rogers, and went on to have two children. In 1953, the couple designed and built a seasonal resort, the Bay Side Motel, on the Lake Winnipesaukee in Alton Bay, New Hampshire.
In 1963, Phyllis transitioned her career and began her climb up the corporate ladder when she started as a secretary at United Way. Concentrating on her career and raising her children, Phyllis rose through the ranks, becoming a senior campaign officer and director of operations. In 1975, she became the public relations officer for Hospital Trust National Bank and 1977 was promoted to assistant vice president. Just two years later, Phyllis was named vice president of the Corporate Communications Group, where she assumed responsibilities for governmental relations, public affairs and relations, investor relations, and advertising. She retired in 1989.
However, her retirement was brief, and Phyllis was named the vice president for marketing communications for Women & Infants Hospital in 1990.
The year 1992 had a special meaning in Phyllis’s life; on September 20, 1992, she marries the love of her life Henry (Woody) Woodbridge. Woody predeceased her on December 22, 2021. For 29 years, they shared a partnership together, building and caring for their immediate and extended family. She was a devoted and loving wife, mother, grandmother, sister, and friend. Her family was everything to her.
Phyllis was a passionate Red Sox and Patriots fan who loved music and musicals, art, and golf. When she wasn’t filling her home with warmth and kindness, she could be found traveling to the Caribbean with her daughter and sister, or spending time at her lake house on Lake Wankewan in Meredith, NH and at the Bayside Motel with her granddaughter, Ashley, who she deeply adored.
Phyllis is survived by her daughter, Barbara Rogers (Tim McCarthy); daughter-in-law, Raquel Rogers; stepchildren, Winty Woodbridge, Kim McCann (Joel), Trip Woodbridge (Leslie); granddaughter, Ashley Marie Rogers; seven step grandchildren Jessica Kemp (Chris), Skyler Bryan (Nicholas), Teal Chalek (Sam), Tim McCann, Jonsey McCann (Kiley), Robert McCann (Kate), and Patience Bandoma (William); and six step great-grandchildren, the newest addition being Griffin McCann. Phyllis is also survived by two sisters, Willa Haverley, and Dale Davenport; and numerous nieces and nephews. In addition to her husband, Woody, Phyllis was also predeceased by her son, Stephen P. Rogers; stepdaughter, Dorothy (Dodie) Dash; and siblings, Nancy Story, Barbara Patterson, and Neil Whitehead.
After a lengthy battle, Phyllis lost her battle with Parkinson’s Disease. However, no matter how sick she was, she was always determined. Through her, we know what resilience and perseverance truly looks like. We can still hear her asking “Where are you” and telling us “Don’t be late”. We know that she would want us to wear cheerful clothes, eat, dance, and be happy. Most of all, she would want us to live our lives filled with love and kindness. Phyllis was immensely proud of her family and leaves behind nothing but beautiful memories. She was loved and will be deeply missed.
A memorial service for both Phyllis and Woody will be held at 2:00p.m. on June 25, 2022, at the Christ Church, 521 Pomfret Street, Pomfret, CT 06259. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Parkinson’s Foundation, Parkinson’s Foundation, 200 SE 1st Street, Suite 800, Miami, FL 33131. Cremation service has been entrusted to the Gilman Funeral Home and Crematory, 104 Church St., Putnam, CT.