Phyllis Neven Schmidt, 82, died peacefully at home on August 11, 2020. Born in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where her family ran a grocery store, she is a graduate of Lincoln High School and Drexel University College of Business. She enjoyed a life full of many careers and interests from school teacher, accountant, account marketer, and real estate agent to entrepreneur, history enthusiast, and backyard pond expert. She studied and enjoyed nature, with special interest in wolves, coyotes, and water fowl. She loved to travel, with some of her favorite trips being to Alaska, San Francisco, and New Orleans. She enjoyed group educational tours with the Road Scholar organization taking particular interest in the CSI Las Vegas Experience which she took twice. She was a voracious reader and lover of Home and Garden TV. She was so grateful and so excited to reconnect with cousins and her extended family history through a lengthy study of Ancestry.com. She was a talented artist and in recent years, was a regular Paint Night attendee making dozens of beautiful paintings and art pieces. She is remembered by so many for never missing a birthday, especially if it was the 50th, and always sharing Christmas wishes with everyone she knew. Phyllis is fondly remembered by a wide circle of friends and family for her sense of humor, her stubborn independence, but also the regular phone calls and easy invitations to visit. Many loved ones have shared stories of her inviting one to stay at her home when dealing with your own personal struggles or just needing a safe place to be. She shared her life with many furry companions along the way and will now cross the Rainbow Bridge with Mandy, Teaser, Butter, and Muffin.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Al and Millie Neven, her beloved sister, Janice Neven and her precious granddaughter, Samantha. She is survived by her son, Jeffrey Schmidt and his family – Susan, Daniel, Ryan, and Natalie; her daughter and son-in-law, Karen and Curtis Beckerbauer; her brother and sister-in-law Albert and Marie Neven; her nephew Michael Neven and great nephew, Cain Neven; her niece Debbie Gleeson; and cousins Jimmy Venuto, Judy Venuto, Wando Jo McLaughlin, Joan Rose, Susan Huffington, Kay Connolly, and Cindy Whitson. She is further survived by her extended family of friends, “Little Sister” Kim Brooks, Dorothy ‘Dot Dot’ Taylor and Donnamarie Weaver, Eric Wu, Sue Moody, Marianne Cinaglia, Edith Schmidt, Karen Anderson, Alisa Sampedro, Leslie Hailey, her Patterson Schwartz family, the crew of the Fairfax Civic Association, and most recently her amazing caregivers – Eleanor and the team of Vanessa, Phyllis, Stacy, and Lola, along with Bayada Hospice and too many more to list.
Arrangements are being handled by McCrery & Harra Funeral Home on Concord Pike. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Phyllis’ name to one of the many organizations she supported including Big Brothers and Big Sisters, the Brandywine Art Museum, the Philadelphia Art Museum, Longwood Gardens, Winterthur Museum. It would mean a lot to her family and friends to have her remembered in such a personal way.