Coping with Grief
We would like to offer our sincere support to anyone coping with grief. Enter your email below for our complimentary daily grief messages. Messages run for up to one year and you can stop at any time. Your email will not be used for any other purpose.
Phyllis Moberly Bocskor, a resident of Vandalia and Butler Township since 1956, passed away on Thursday, October 5, 2023. Born December 8, 1925 in Middletown, Ohio, she grew up on a farm in Buford, the daughter of the Wilbur L. Moberly and Orah Leah Bradley Moberly, and was preceded in death by her husband, Andrew Michael Bocskor.
Phyllis is survived by her daughters, Nancy Leah Bocskor and Lisa Anne (Randy) Dew, her granddaughter Ashley (Harley) Looper, and a great-grandson, Louis James Looper.
An only child, her pets were her playmates. She was surrounded by German Shepherds and Airedale Terriers, and often spoke about how she dressed them in her mom’s dresses, pulled her on her sled and wagon, and even let her hold their tails when she swam in the creek. She also had many cats, lambs and horses.
She was proudly selected as the editor of her Buford school paper as a sophomore, a job usually reserved for upperclassmen. Her goal was to go to Ohio State’s journalism school, but the realities of the Depression, and World War II, dashed those dreams. Nonetheless, she kept newspaper clips from that era and was always on top of current events.
Phyllis lettered in basketball, before the State banned girls from athletic competition because they were “too delicate.” She never forgot that decision – and was an avid fan of both college women’s and men’s basketball her whole life. She loved Duke and “Coach K”, and always thought the “girls played better basketball than the boys.”
When she was 16, her parents rented out their farm and moved to Centerville, where she graduated from high school. Nonetheless, her heart never left her friends or the farm in Buford.
During World War II, the U.S. Government recruited “Cadet Nurses” and placed them in an accelerated nursing program for overseas service. Phyllis was accepted into Miami Valley School of Nursing, graduating in the fall of 1946 and completing the program in 2.5 years instead of three.
She was incredibly proud that she was a Registered Nurse (R.N.); it was a rigorous program since nearly all the doctors were in the service. She and her classmates took on much responsibility during her training, spending long hours on the hospital floor and in the classroom. Forged by fire, she kept in touch with her classmates and was an active member of the MVSN Alumni, rarely missing an event.
Phyllis worked as a camp nurse and a visiting nurse before she found her calling: she worked as an industrial nurse at the Sheffield Corporation for more than eight years, one of many manufacturing plants located in Dayton. She met Andy there; a lifetime migraine headache sufferer, Andy would visit that “smart, shapely” nurse. They married in 1956.
Settling in Butler Township, she moved in Andy’s newly constructed home and soon began her family. She volunteered for Girl Scouts, 4-H, PTA, the American Red Cross, the Vandalia United Methodist Church, the Lioness Club, American Field Service – and others too numerous to list. She planned car trips that took her family to nearly all 50 states and across Canada. Phyllis organized the annual JCOWA trips to Washington, D.C. and New York City, often taking more than two busloads of high school students, for 20 years.
Phyllis always had a thirst for knowledge and international travel. While Nancy and Lisa were Lions Clubs exchange students to Germany as teens, she hadn’t been overseas…..yet.
At age 50, her time at come: in 1976 she signed up for the old Foreign Study League (primarily high school students) and left Andy at home, Nancy semi-unsupervised and Lisa in her grandma's care. Phyllis went away for six whole weeks, attending classes in the morning and sightseeing in the afternoon.
From that time on, she would spend many hours organizing adventures for her friends, and people who became friends, visiting more than 40 countries, including Russia (still the Soviet Union) in 1988 and China in 1990. Phyllis and her daughter Nancy spent nearly three weeks in Egypt on her 80th birthday.
The family would like to thank the caretakers at Randall Residence in Tipp City, where Phyllis spent her final 2.5 years in memory care, and the medical team at Upper Valley Hospital in Troy. Despite her dementia, Phyllis still kept that sense of humor and love of knowledge, while thinking she “was the head nurse at a small luxury hotel with cloth napkins, bus trips and arts-and-crafts.”
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made in her memory to Advocates 4 Animals, P.O. Box 13, Xenia, OH 45385, where Polly, her constant companion was adopted, or the Miami Valley Hospital Foundation, 31 Wyoming St., Dayton, OH 45409.