Born on December 7, 1923 in Holyoke, Massachusetts to Willard and Helen Allen, Phyllis graduated from Holyoke High School and entered Penn State. Her college career was put on hold during WWII due to the need for women in the war industries. She worked on airplane production during the war years and then focused on raising her five children. Her husband, James L Beekman II, a career officer in the U.S. Air Force, was stationed in post war Europe where they resided in Chateau-Roux, France. James premature illness and death left her as sole support of her children, a challenge she surmounted by returning to college at University of Massachusetts, Amherst where she earned a Master’s degree in mathematics and initiated a long career in teaching high school algebra and calculus. She initially taught at the Northampton School for Girls and acted as director of admissions. Later she accepted a position at the Williston Academy in Easthampton, MA where she met her husband and life partner, Dr. Stephen Seybolt. Steve’s degree in English literature and Phyllis’ passion for math enriched the lives of generations of high school students.
Phyllis is survived by: her sister Marjorie Yount of North Carolina, her husband Stephen of Boynton Beach, FL, as well as all children: Candace and her husband William Matthew of Hopkington, MA, Dr. Robert Beekman and his wife Ellen of Ellsworth, ME, James Beekman of Portland, OR, Allen Beekman and his wife Sandy of Bend, OR, Laurie and her husband Dana Parker of Plymouth, MA. She is survived by grandchildren: Aria Baker, Brian, Benjamin and Samuel Beekman all of Bend, OR, Julie Matthew of East Greenwich, RI, Allison Miseph of Indianapolis, IN, Michael Miseph of Holyoke, MA, Kimberly Kleinpeter of Gorham, ME, and Andrew Beekman of Boone, NC. She is also survived by 7 great grandchildren: Kiley Shea, Jaya Belle, Jackson Tye, Natalie Kate, Robert Reynolds, Hickson Rudder and George Porter.
Phyllis overcame many challenges in her life, but none so great as her final battle with Alzheimer’s disease. A woman proud of her intellectual gifts, she bore progressive losses with grace and dignity. She taught us all to appreciate the smaller pleasures in life and took great joy in the love and companionship of family and friends.
In lieu of flowers, friends are invited to consider a gift in her memory to the Parkside Inn (Memory Care Center), 1613 SW 3rd St, Boynton Beach, FL. 33435.