Phyllis L Artz, 89, of Valley View, passed away Wednesday, November 25, 2020 at her residence.
She was born on Saturday, February 7, 1931, in Pitman, a daughter of the late Daniel T Wagner and the late Mary E (Hepler) Wagner.
Phyllis graduated from Hegins Township High School at the age of 16. She worked as a secretary in a local garment factory until taking a job with the Tri-Valley School District as a secretary until 1962.
In 1962 she left Tri-Valley to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Education at Bloomsburg State College while raising two pre-teens and managing a household. She graduated in 1965 and began teaching at Williams Valley School District in 1966. She earned her Master’s Degree while teaching. She continued as an educator at Williams Valley for twenty-two years until her retirement in 1987.
In the 1970’s Phyllis was part of a group of individuals who launched the Hegins Area Ambulance Association. After its incorporation, Phyllis worked tirelessly as a board member, First Responder, and eventually an EMT. She became President of the Ambulance Association and held that position for thirty-five years, proudly overseeing the growth of the service. After working from her kitchen table for years, she persuaded the Board to purchase a shed from Pine Creek Structures and that was the first office. It was located on Township property. From there, land was purchased and she and her husband helped design the original station on Gap Street.
While serving as in EMT with Hegins, she became a CPR and EMT instructor and taught classes out of the Hegins Station and other locations.
Phyllis was on hand to cut the ribbon at the dedication of the newly remodeled station in 2018.
She retired from the Board of Directors in June 2020, at the age of 89 having served since the start of the association.
In addition to her work on the Hegins Ambulance Board, she served on the initial Board of Directors for West Schuylkill ALS based in Tremont.
While serving her community, she did not forget her church, St. Andrew’s United Methodist, and attended regularly. She sang in the choir as long as she was able. She helped serve meals in the social hall and contributed in any way she could.
Phyllis loved to paint. Her paintings adorn the walls of her home. She also enjoyed snowmobiling spending time at the cabin and the shore, bowling, swimming, and reading.
Her greatest joy was her family. She loved visits from her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. She will be missed by all.
She was preceded in death by her parents, and by a brother, William H Wagner.
She is survived by her husband Mark L Artz, to whom she was married for 70 years.
She is also survived by a daughter, Debra L Barry and her husband Richard of Hegins; a son, M Steven Artz and his husband Thomas C Strickler of State College; two grandsons, Thomas E Barry and his wife Hayley of Valley View, and Phillip M Barry and his wife Alyssa of Valley View; four great grandsons, Connor Barry, Caleb Barry, Carter Barry, and Cooper Barry; a great granddaughter, Riley Barry; a brother, James E Wagner of Lock Haven; and several nieces and nephews.
Due current COVID-19 concerns services will be announced at a later date.
Memorial contributions can be made to Hegins Area Ambulance Association, 352 Gap Street, Valley View, PA 17983.
Buffington-Reed Funeral Home, Valley View, is in charge of arrangements.
Condolences can be left for the family at www.buffingtonreed.com.