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Obituary: Phyllis Anne Buell


EAST DURHAM – Phyllis Anne Buell, a longtime resident of East Durham, passed away Wednesday evening, Jan. 26, 2022, at Cooperstown Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing. She was 97.

Born Dec. 15, 1924, in Dallas, Texas, Phyllis was one of three children of Charles Clinch Allen II and Lillian Gertrude (Graham) Allen. A descendent of immigrants who came to this country twelve years after the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, her ancestors eventually settled in Connecticut, where Samuel Allen founded the Town of Windsor in 1648. Phyllis was also proud to be a descendent of American Revolutionary War and American Civil War patriots. Phyllis and her family moved to Boston, Massachusetts, in 1926, and then settled in East Durham in 1928.

For many years, Phyllis commuted from the family home in East Durham to Albany where she was employed by “Ma Bell,” which became AT&T.

Throughout her life Phyllis had a love for dogs, and attended and won prizes at many dog shows, first for her Collies and then her Boxers. Her life truly revolved around her beloved dogs and she told wonderful stories of the bravery of one Collie named Keko. She also served as a caretaker for her neighbor, Francis Rockenstyre “Barney” Birchett, whose sister was the well-known jazz singer, Blossom Dearie. They were all childhood playmates, and Phyllis cared for Barney until his passing in 2015. Since early 2020 she has resided at Cooperstown Center.

Phyllis is survived by a nephew, John Christopher Allen, and two nieces, Jennifer Ann Allen and Ruth Patricia Allen, and their families.

She is preceded in death by her brothers, Charles Clinch Allen III, who died in 1972, and Roland Pearsall Allen, who died in 2018, and a nephew, Robert Scott Allen, who died in 2015.

Arrangements are with the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home in Cooperstown.

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