GLENBURN - Phyllis Wardwell Goss, 92, passed away peacefully on January 15, 2020 at CMMC in Lewiston. Born Phyllis Anna Linkletter on January 29, 1927 in Athens, Maine, she was the youngest of five children born to Ernest and Dorothy Linkletter. Her younger years were spent "on the farm" in Athens where she first fostered her love of nursing by caring for any barn animal needing attention. It was on this farm she nurtured hope in her heart with poetry, playing the violin, dreaming in the sand pit, and the love of her mother's molasses doughnuts and homemade bread. Her older brother and sisters were her friends as well as her rock, and remained so throughout her life.
Phyllis graduated from Somerset Academy and then Eastern Maine General Hospital School of Nursing in the United States Cadet Nurse Program in 1948. She married Reginald Wardwell in 1950, a Marine Corps member and moved to California to work at Camp Pendleton. In 1956, after returning to the East Coast, a daughter, Sharon Anne was born. They made their home in Glenburn where she continued to reside for nearly 70 years. Phyllis was ahead of her time in believing women were capable and responsible for striving to fulfill their own dreams. She bet on her own determination, intelligence and character to achieve a well lived life.
Phyllis was employed at Eastern Maine Medical Center and St. Joseph's as a nurse wearing many caps; direct care, supervisory and patient/staff education, but nothing brought her as much joy as working directly with the patients she so lovingly served. She continued to expand her nursing education and received her BSN in 1978 from USM and then completed her Masters degree in Nursing from Boston University in 1981. She was a member of many community and nursing organizations and in 2005 was selected for the Nursing Hall of Fame Award at Husson College. She was inducted into the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International as a member in 1992. Phyllis was the Health Nurse for the town of Glenburn for 20 years. She established and led the first Brownie and Girl Scout troops in Glenburn. She served as a member of Altrusa, a Board member of St. Joseph Hospital Auxiliary and an active member of her Nursing Alumnae Association. Phyllis was a member of First United Church, Essex Street for many years.
In 1990 Phyllis married Ralph Goss, and together they loved traveling, tending their raspberry patch, dancing with their beloved dog Misty, and especially enjoyed attending Ralph's WWll Army reunions in many different states. They traveled extensively, and enjoyed learning about the world we live in. But she always looked forward to coming home to Maine; and prided herself as a dyed in the wool Maineiac. Saturday Nighters and Shrine events with Ralph became some of Phyllis's favorite memories, as well as family events and welcoming new additions to her fold as they came along. Never one to pass up something to satisfy her sweet tooth, raspberry filled cookies were a fast track to her heart, and she coveted her daily newspaper, a long nap, listening to medical breakthroughs on her talking books, and a feisty debate. Upward looking and the light are her reward for a life well lived with grace and dignity. Her wit, wisdom and whistling skills will be sorely missed.
Phyllis is survived by her loving daughter, Sharon Lerette, her husband, Don and her beloved dog, Misty of Auburn; three grandsons, Raymond and wife Sandra, Sean and wife Sarah, and Adam and wife Tiffany; great grandchildren, Timothy, Zachary, Matthew, Maisie, Camden, Shea and Julianna; her dear sister, Lois Hartford of Florida, and fourteen nieces and nephews; two stepsons, Jerry Goss and wife Jeanne of Brewer, Kevin Goss of Bangor and their wonderful families. She will be missed by friends and neighbors who kindly lent a hand when times got more difficult for Phyllis to remain in her home. She was predeceased by her husband, Ralph Goss, her parents, her brother, Gordon Linkletter and sisters, Ernestine Turner and Ruby Petley. She was also predeceased by her niece, Judith Hartford, grandniece, Audra Linkletter and grandnephew, Ryan Linkletter.
The family would like to extend much gratitude to the thoughtful and compassionate care Phyllis received while a patient in the ER, ICU and M4 at CMMC in Lewiston.
A service to celebrate Phyllis' life will be held 1:00 p.m. Saturday, February 8, 2020 at Brookings-Smith, 133 Center Street, Bangor with Dr. Steve Smith, pastor, First United Methodist Church, officiating. The family invites relatives and friends to share in a light luncheon immediately following the service at the Family Reception Center of Brookings-Smith, 163 Center Street, Bangor.
If desired, in lieu of flowers, please consider donations in Phyllis Goss' memory to: Fisher House at Togus Hospital to provide shelter for families as they provide support for our veteran's while hospitalized far from home. Donations should be mailed to VA Maine Voluntary Service Togus 1 VA Center (MDP 135), Augusta, Maine 04333; on donation memo, please indicate Fisher House / Phyllis Goss. Interment will be in the spring at The Maine State Veteran's Cemetery in Augusta. Condolences to the family may be expressed at BrookingsSmith.com.