Obituary: Phyllis Christine Ribey, February 18, 1932 – February 28, 2024

Phyllis Christine Ribey (née Heard) passed away peacefully at Hospice Waterloo Region on Thursday, February 8, 2024, surrounded by the love of her family.

Born in Port Elgin almost 92 years ago, Phyllis grew up near her beloved Lake Huron. She married Jim Ribey in 1952, and they both taught in one-room schools for several years until their move to Welland. They later settled in Elmira, and Phyllis found much joy in her role as a Kindergarten teacher in St. Jacobs. She made great friends in her years at SJPS, many of whom would be lifelong companions.
A ceramics shop was Phyllis’ next adventure, and she enjoyed the connections she made through this creative outlet as well. She and Jim retired to a home on Conestoga Lake, close to the birds and beasts and forests that both of them loved. After Jim’s passing, Phyllis moved to her little house on Riverside Drive in Elmira, where she lived until a few days before her death. Isaac the cat was her constant companion, and she was blessed with wonderful neighbours and friends in her later years. Her deep love of nature, and her kindness to “all things great and small” has been passed along to all of us.

Phyllis was devoted to, and adored by, her daughters, Merri-Lee Metzger (Ron) and Shelley Hinsperger (Mike), and her grandchildren Kati, Jamie, Brendan, Shoena and Corey. She rejoiced in the births of her great-grandchildren – Josie, Kate, Charlotte and Sawyer, and was so thankful to have met them all!

Phyllis is survived by her sisters, Joan Waring and Dawna Ziegler, and sister-in-law Marj Monk. She was predeceased by her parents, Alex and Lillian Heard, and her husband, Jim Ribey.

We, her family, are thankful to the many friends, neighbours, and caregivers, who helped make our beloved Mom/Grandma comfortable and happy in her final days. She loved all of us wholeheartedly and unconditionally, and inspired us to continue her legacy.

To me
she is
those final steps
the turn around the last bend
and a little house
with a light on
and a fire lit
with a faint laugh
floating on the warm wind-
she is
my always,
coming home.

                           … Atticus

The family will be holding a private burial. Phyllis’s family will receive relatives and friends from 12:00 PM to 12:45 PM, on Friday, February 16, 2024 at the Henry Walser Funeral Home, 507 Frederick Street, Kitchener, 519-749-8467. A celebration of life will follow in the funeral home chapel at 1:00 p.m. with a reception (and more visiting!) from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. in funeral home reception room.

As expressions of sympathy, donations to Hospice Waterloo Region, or K-W Humane Society, or the charity of your choice, would be appreciated by the family (cards available at the funeral home).