|Birth: ||Apr. 4, 1926|
West Virginia, USA
|Death: ||Feb. 2, 2012|
West Virginia, USA
Her family was the most important thing to her. She always said she dearly loved her children, delighted in the grandchildren but the best were her great grandchildren!
Phyllis was born on 4/4/26 in Wheeling, WV on Easter Sunday because although her parents lived in St. Clairsville, O, the hospital was just across the Ohio river in Wheeling. Her parents were Catherine Elizabeth (Schrock) Lang and Chauncey Philip Lang. She had two older
sisters, Catherine Elizabeth Lang and Barbara Jane Lang Goodman, both were born in Ohio as were her parents. In her immediate family she and her Granddaughter Christina were the only ones born in WV. She was named Phyllis after her Dad's middle name.
The Lang family moved to State College when Phyllis was two when her Dad accepted a position in the Agriculture Extension Dept. at Penn State College.
She went to the very first nursery school started on the campus at Penn State. And started first grade at age 5 .. there were not the restrictions then that there are now and so was always one of the youngest student in her class all the way through school. Her sisters were 6 and 7 years older and her Mom was probably tired of being tied down by a youngster.
They say "It takes a village to raise a child" and Phyllis was living proof of that! She was the kind of little girl who would "forget" to wear her coat but dragged it along behind her, and she loved jumping in mud puddles. Her Mother always knew what she had done because the neighbors would have phoned and alerted her Mom before Phyllis made it home. Well it made for some interesting Halloweens when it was pay-back time!
As a child Phyllis had several major illnesses. At 4 she had whooping cough and measles at the same time and was not expected to live. The doctor had 2 other children patients also very sick at the time but comforted her family by sitting by her bedside as he thought Phyllis
was the one who would not survive. In those days in the sickroom they would closed all the curtains and keep the room dark. Her mother, Catherine, decided that her daughter was not gong to die in the dark and opened all the blinds to let the light in! Whether it was the
light or the comfort of the Doctor by her bedside Phyllis was only one of those sick children to live.
At age 8 Phyllis had rheumatic fever and had to spend all that summer in bed recovering. All their lives her Mother and sisters believed Phyllis had a weak heart and should be sheltered. Phyllis resisted their attempts to make her an invalid and ignored their suggestions to take it easy.
She graduated from State College High School in 1943. And she started to date her future husband, John Samuel Moffitt. John was a year ahead of her in school but they first started to date after taking an one act play to a competition in Shippensburg, Pa. He was the student director of the play she was in. They were both members of the Thespians Club in HS.
John was drafted and went into the Army in 1943. They decided to elope and were married March 15, 1944. But since she was a month shy of her 18th birthday her Mother had to go to Philadelphia also to sign for Phyllis! She wore a stylish purple suit to get married in. Phyllis was already a high school graduate and attending Penn State College. They spent the weekend together before Phyllis went back home to college and John back to the army ASTP program he was in. Whenever questioned by her children about why they were married so young, Phyllis always answered, "It was the war you know."
John was never sent overseas during WWII and Phyllis eventually quit college and moved to be with him when he entered Jefferson Medical School in Philadelphia after he had done his pre-med at Johns Hopkins.
In those days most young ladies became teachers, secretaries or nurses. Phyllis was enrolled in Home Ec. in early childhood education. Her daughter Lynne always said when people say young girls aren't taught how to be a mother "My Mother was!"
While John was in medical school, Phyllis worked as a dietician and then in an Endocrinology Lab. Neither of which she had had any formaltraining for but "It was the war you know."
VE Day was in June that year with VJ Day in August but John was still in the Army when he started medical school and the GI Bill paid for the other years. Their first child, John, was born at the end of his dad's second year at medical school.
During her pregnancy Phyllis developed that old nasty heart murmur. At the time she was advised
not to have any more children because of the murmur. As usual Phyllis resisted any advice that would restrict her life so she went on to have two more children. Lynne was born when John was doing an OB residency and Judy was born when John was in private practice in Centre Hall, Pa.
When the Korean War started John was sent to Japan and then to head a MASH unit in Korea. And Phyllis and Johnny moved back to State College with her parents. And she then took this opportunity to finish college, graduating in 1952. In college she played in the concert Blue Band (no women were allowed to be in the marching band at that time), joined the Delta Gamma sorority and got her BS in Home Economics in Early Childhood and Family relationships. While John was still overseas she directed a nursery school for the Episcopal Church.
Phyllis was a somewhat indifferent student throughout HS and her first 3 years of college. It was only after returning to college as a wife and mother that she became an excellent student and made the honor roll her last two semesters.
Phyllis played the flute in HS and college and was a pretty good flute player with a beautiful tone. In those days only men were in the Penn State Marching band but due to The War (The Greatest Generation) the concert band didn't march but played at the football games in their place.
While living in Westchester, Il. Phyllis started
substituting in the schools there. In order to get teachingcredentials she went one summer to Chicago Teachers College.
When the family moved to Berkeley Co., WV she went to the local schoolboard to see if they ever needed substitutes and they convinced her into taking a teaching job at Hooge St. School teaching first grade. She had 40 students with no aides to help but she and the children bonded and she had 4 good years there. To get all the proper teaching credentials she took classes at Shepherd College and Shippensburg College ... that was now her 4th college!
A good friend talked her into taking the FSEE exam, needed in those days for Federal employment. She took it somewhat as a lark as she always felt "math challenged" and was sure she wouldn't have a high enough score for Federal employment. Much to her surprise both IRS and the VA offered her a job and she took the job with IRS National Computer Center. She worked in Production Control and eventually was selected to be the Training and Public Affairs officer.
She loved her role as a mother and took it very seriously; never missed a football game of John's, either when he was a player or coach; nor a play in which Lynne or Judy were in at MHS.
In the late 1960s and early 1970s Phyllis became an environmental activist helping to found the first Berkeley Co. Environmental Counsel.
In the 1990s Phyllis was a co-chair of Read Aloud
WV in Berkeley County. She recruited and trained volunteers to read to children in classrooms. Phyllis read at Tuscarora and Burke Street schools and occasionally at the Public Library. She always felt that sharing the love of reading with children was the most important work she was ever involved in.
In 1986 Phyllis had her first heart attack and took a medical disability retirement. In 1990 she had a triple by-pass at Georgetown and eventually had implanted a defibrillator/pacemaker.
Phyllis belonged to The League of Women Voters as long as there was one in Berkeley Co, serving as President several times and acting as a moderator for the League's political forums until they became so popular that the radio station and newspaper decided to hold them.
She also was a PEO serving as president several times. She was a member of Travel Club in Martinsburg; serving as President and on various other committees.
Belief in God and what he'll do for you if you're a believer was very strong in Phyllis. She was raised in St. Paul's Methodist Episcopal Church in State College and was a Methodist all her life. In Berkeley Co. she first attended Trinity Methodist Church where she served on the Board of Trustees, finance committee, and worked with the homeless before she transferred her membership to Bedington U.M.Church.
Her interests were many with books, bridge, feeding the birds and music heading the list.
Phyllis donated her body to the West Virginia University Medical School and was subsequently cremated.
Chauncey Phillip Lang (1894 - 1980)
Catherine Elizabeth Schrock Lang (1898 - 1991)
John Samuel Moffitt (1924 - 1992)
Catherine Elizabeth Kay Lang (1919 - 2009)*
Barbara Jane Goodman (1920 - 2010)*
Phyllis Ann Lang Moffitt (1926 - 2012)
Body donated to medical science
Created by: Aviva
Record added: Jan 09, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 103310902