- Phyllis McGovern Soule
Phyllis McGovern Soule, 95 a resident of Fairfax, VT. passed away on Monday, June 2, 2014. Phyllis was born in Richmond, VT July 10, 1918, the daughter of Thomas James McGovern and Florence Berry McGovern, proud, second generation Irish immigrants whom she dearly loved.
Phyllis was fortunate to know and appreciate her paternal and maternal grandparents whom taught her many of lifes lessons. They impressed upon her the importance of family and citizenship where all members were allowed to be individuals. Education was an essential ingredient of her personal development - in her life it was demonstrated in a variety of ways.
After graduating from Cambridge High School in 1936 she entered the University of Vermont to earn a Bachelor of Science degree. She participated in numerous organizations and campus activities. She was invited to join Kappa Alpha Theta, was a member of the undergraduate Honor Society, President of Womens Student Government and achieved entry to the Mortar Board Fraternity, the premier national honor society recognizing college seniors for achievements in scholarship, leadership and service. From these experiences, she further learned the importance of respect, humility and further appreciation for a role in her community.
Being an active Vermonter, she was involved in the State of Vermont and local town government. Although she was a staunch Democrat, she served at the request of four Governors as a member of the Vermont Library Board, Vermont Racing Commission, Vermont Commission for Women and Health, and the Human Services Board. She thoroughly enjoyed participating in Fairfax town government with her roles as Justice of the Peace, Member of the Development Review Board and Zoning Board.
Phyllis married the late, Richard Cutler Soule, Sr. in 1942. She and Richard raised seven children in Fairfax, VT where she resided for nearly 70 years.
Through life, as recent as living at the Converse Home in Burlington, each day was a day to enlighten and teach all ages. Her teaching career began in Bristol and Springfield, Vermont. After raising seven children, she resumed teaching in Fairfax in 1961. The University of Vermont requested she assume an Instructor position in Nutritional Sciences in the College of Agriculture while completing her Masters degree. She was also active in the University Extension Service as a participant in the WCAX, Across The Fence programming to educate women about improved nutrition for their families. Phyllis was in the forefront before her time, teaching and aiding in better nutrition for children and families in order to promote a healthy lifestyle. She retired from her University of Vermont Professorial position at the age of 72 in 1989.
Mrs. Soule, as called by her students, was sought out as a mentor and teacher to share her many life-long experiences with hundreds of students who continued to remain dear to her heart.