Phyllis Short Sleeve | Obituaries |


Phyllis Shortsleeve CHITTENDEN – Phyllis Shortsleeve died surrounded by her family on July 16 at her home in Chittenden. She is survived by her loving husband, John P. Shortsleeve II, her four children, Kym Blaisdell, Kellie Becker, Keith (Christy) Shortsleeve and Kris Shortsleeve, her four grandchildren – Nicole (JD) Dougherty, Elizabeth (Ben) Horton, Rebecca (Zach) Wyhowanec and Evan Shortsleeve, and her five great-grandchildren – AJ and Adrianna Guida, Reagan Dougherty, Quinn and Luke Wyhowanec. Phyllis is predeceased by her parents, her brothers Harold “Perk” and Wayne Pelkey, her half-sister Shirley Baccei and her half-brother Bob Bushey. Phyllis was born to Harold Pelkey ​​and Marguerite Congdon on their dairy farm in Pittsford, VT on July 31, 1940. She attended Pittsford Barstow High School. At just 16, Phyllis met Jack at a wedding and they were quickly taken with each other. They married soon after on January 18, 1958 at St. Alphonsus Liguori Catholic Church in Pittsford, VT. Shortly after starting their family, Phyllis and Jack moved to Chittenden in 1959 to an 18th century farmhouse which Jack, a skilled carpenter, renovated over time. Phyllis had an incredible work ethic and used her courage to take up a position with the United States Postal Service. As Phyllis rose through the ranks, Jack used his famous carpentry skills to convert their garage into the Chittenden Post Office. Phyllis became postmaster and she loved her home serving as a remarkable gathering point for the community. Blending her work and her love of the community, Phyllis gathered friends to personally respond to each child’s letter to Santa Claus. She hosted young students at the post office to honor the importance of postal services in rural communities, held community appreciation days for customers, and sponsored a USPS float in the Chittenden Day Parade. Phyllis retired after more than 30 years of service, but her legacy at the Post Office lives on, still attached to their home today. She achieved all of this while raising her four active children. She followed her children by getting involved in their activities and quickly rose to prominence on the slopes both as director of the ski school at High Pond and for cramming as many children as possible into her Volkswagen Bug for weekend skiing. She caught the travel bug after chaperoning a high school ski trip to Austria with Jack. From there, she and Jack toured the country on their Honda GoldWing motorcycles not once, but twice. She followed her grandchildren, traveling with them to Greece, China, South Africa and Zambia. His love of life was matched only by his taste for adventure. She enjoyed spending time with her grandchildren and taught each of them to ski, drive, snowmobile and water ski. She was always ready to show that she could still water ski on the docks at over 60! Phyllis and Jack organized many camping trips for their grandchildren and always brought their beloved chocolate lab, Jacques. Phyllis and Jack shared a love of golf and spent a lot of time at the Proctor Pittsford golf course and at home in South Carolina. She shot her first and only hole-in-one at Wachesaw Plantation East in 2007. She and Jack were card sharks and loved playing long games of cards that spilled late into the night with friends. Phyllis was active in the Catholic Church. She served on the parish council of St. Robert’s Catholic Church for many years, hosting potlucks and volunteering to clean the church throughout the year. She worked hard to establish and build the church and keep the doors open. When that was no longer possible, she was instrumental in establishing a scholarship fund for young Catholics. Community, family and faith were the foundations of Phyllis’ life and her adventurous spirit will be missed by family and friends. But nothing was more important to her than her beloved husband, Jack. As young adults from very humble beginnings, they created a family and built a life deeply rooted in their love for each other. They grew up with the many seasons of life, having children, renovating their home and going on adventures together. In his later years, Jack was by his side to handcraft a custom swing set so they could swing together and reminisce with family and friends on the porch. It was a love and a legacy that will endure. Calling hours will be Wednesday, July 20 from 4-6 p.m. at Aldous Funeral Home in Rutland, VT. His funeral will be at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday July 21 at St. Alphonsus Catholic Church in Pittsford, with interment immediately following the funeral at Baird Cemetery in Chittenden. Please join us for a reception following the interment service at St. Alphonsus Parish Hall.

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