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Phyllis's Story

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Phyllis Snow Willis Talbot, 91, died peacefully Aug. 3, 2014, at her home in Commerce.
Born June 19, 1923, in Powhatan, Va., Phyllis was one of five daughters of James Arthur and Annie Finney Willis and grew up on the family farm. She accepted Christ at an early age and joined the Mount Calvary Baptist Church. After completing her early education in the public school system of Powhatan County, Phyllis enrolled in St. Paul’s College, a private, historically black college located in Lawrenceville, Va. Following her graduation, Phyllis returned to Powhatan, where she taught elementary school.
Phyllis met Army Sgt. David Talbot, who had immigrated to the United States from British Guiana to attend college. They were married on June 19, 1946, and moved to New York City where Phyllis became a homemaker and mother to sons David Jr., James and Eric. In 1952, Phyllis and her family moved to North Little Rock, Ark., after her husband accepted a job teaching at Shorter College; and later to Pine Bluff, Ark., where he taught and served as dean at Arkansas A.M.&N. College and where Phyllis worked at the college as a librarian. The family moved to Commerce in 1968 when Talbot became a professor at East Texas State University. At ETSU, Phyllis worked for many years in the TRiO Student Support Services Programs until her retirement.
During this time, Phyllis and David opened their home to countless numbers of students who became members of their extended family.
In addition to her family, Phyllis was passionate about cooking — all kinds of cooking. She was a member of the First United Methodist Church of Commerce, American Association of University Women, Garden Club, American Cancer Society volunteer, and Commerce Gourmet Club.
Phyllis was predeceased by her husband in 2003; two sisters, Maria Manson and Patti Smith; and a grandson, John David Talbot.
She is survived by three sons, David A. Talbot Jr. (Sandra) of Austin, James P. Talbot (Cassaundra) of Trophy Club, and Eric Talbot of Commerce who cared for her in the home; grandchildren David A. Talbot III (Lisa) of Humble, Jimmy Talbot (Brandi) of The Woodlands and Joshua Talbot of Trophy Club; and four great-grandchildren; sisters Fannie W. Key of Jarratt, Va., and Annie Harrison of Lawrenceville, Va.; sister-in-law Lucille E. Talbot of Waco and other family members and friends.
The family would like to express their thanks for the loving care provided by George Henry, Patsy Mabry, Cortnie Mabry, Vanessa Flint and the late Martha Walker.
Memorial service was conducted Saturday, Aug. 9, at 3:30 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church in Commerce with Dr. Gregory S. Neal officiating.
Jones-Walker & Son Funeral Home of Commerce was in charge of arrangements.
In lieu of usual remembrances, the family requests that memorials be made to David Arlington Talbot Endowed Scholarship, Texas A&M University-Commerce Foundation, P.O. Box 3425, Commerce, Texas 75429.
Online condolences may be made at www.jones-walkerandson.com and www.heraldbanner.com.
Published on  August 14, 2014
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