|Birth: ||Aug. 21, 1927|
|Death: ||Feb. 20, 2011|
Phyllis Lee Ater Breidenbaugh, 83, Chillicothe, died peacefully Sunday morning, February 20, 2011, surrounded by family and encircled in love, at Traditions of Chillicothe, where she was a resident since 2003. The daughter and fourth child of Florence Brandenburg and Francis Elmer Ater, Phyllis was born at home in her beloved Clarksburg, Ohio, on August 21, 1927. Her parents predeceased her a number of years ago.
‘Phillie', as she was so often known, follows brothers Francis Everett (Alma) and Judge Kenneth Brandenburg (Mary Ann), and sister Mary Ann (Robert) Chenault, in death. On March 3, 1944, Phyllis married Jack Breidenbaugh, whom she met and soon dated when the family moved to Three Locks Road in 1939. The young couple departed for Livermore, California, where Jack was stationed as a member of the United States Navy in the Second World War. It was an experience central to their lives. First child Richard (Nancy) was born, and the Breidenbaughs returned to Ohio, in 1946. Two sons followed, Michael (Linda) in 1949, and Kenneth (Janis) in 1952. All sons reside in Chillicothe.
Phyllis and Jack owned and operated a design and construction business beginning in 1965. Jack and his ‘Phyl' were partners, companions, together, inseparable, and devoted in their responsibility to children and work. Jack died in June of 2000.
Phyllis is also survived by nine grandchildren, Melody, Genevieve, Camille, Nicole, Michelle, Lisa, Cindy, Margaret and Nathaniel. There are fifteen great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews. Other surviving family members include brothers-in-law Russell (Arpine) and Marvin (Dorothy), Chillicothe, and sisters-in-law Margaret McSwain, Cincinnati, and Mary Ann Ater, Chesapeake, Ohio.
Oh, Phyllis. Beautiful, talented, witty, poised, petite, serious, poetic, musical, strong and, most assuredly, forever on the stage. ‘She danced before she walked,' her mother said. Many were the contests she entered locally as a child, often at the Majestic Theater, and customary were the first prizes she carried home (including a trip to Broadway). She sang in the living room of Roy Rogers, while he accompanied her on his guitar. And her tap-dancing was legendary, until quite recent years. She was a student of Grace Rain (along with Rosemary Clooney and Doris Day) in Cincinnati, as a performer on Radio WLW. Who can think of a time when Phyllis didn't sing and dance (forever in high heels), at some moment in the day. Her gift of mimicry, her imitation of the person who had just left the room, was extraordinary. Voice, gesture, posture, attitude, all perfect. The center of attention, Phyllis, always, and it seemed just naturally so.
Phyllis laughed, loved bright colors, lights at night, beautiful things. She had a passion for Clarksburg, the Four Aces, traveling by train, the beach, restaurants, licorice candy, and of course anything to do with a family known as the Aters. She and Jack were instrumental in the restoration of the Ater family cemetery in1996, and were organizers of its rededication in the summer of that year. So too with the hundredth Ater reunion in 1999, and the reenactment of the migration from Virginia to Ohio. She was fair, spoke against injustice, stood up for the weak, and cried foul when she saw foul before her. She wrote poetry from an early age, and continued writing throughout her life, leaving behind a large body of poetic work. She starred in theater productions at the Paint Street Playhouse. And there is her wondrous autobiography on tape, a fund of memories and stories engaging and clear.
Services were entrusted to Ware Funeral Home of Chillicothe, Ohio.
Jack Richard Breidenbaugh (1926 - 2000)*
Browns Chapel Church and Cemetery
Created by: JLM
Record added: Oct 15, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 78464979
Added: Oct. 15, 2011