CHESAPEAKE – Phyllis Juanita Opie, 73, loving mother, grandmother and friend passed away Thursday, Sept 7, 2017. She is now walking and talking with her Lord and Savior. Phyllis was born in Portsmouth to the late Emil and Nell Gesiewski. She graduated from Oscar Smith High School (1962), was a girl scout, worked as a candy striper, enjoyed gardening and going to the beach. Phyllis was a graduate of the ‘65 class of Norfolk General School of Nursing, where she made many lifelong friends. She finished her career as a school nurse at Tallwood Elementary in 1999 and as the President of the Virginia Beach School Nurse’s Association. Phyllis’ passion was playing the piano and recorder for various groups and singing in choirs. A highlight of her life was singing with the Billy Graham Crusades Choir at Norfolk Scope. Phyllis was a long time volunteer at Tidewater Pregnancy Crisis Center. She was a founding member of New Life Church, a member of the Red Hat Society, and was an active participant in the YMCA – Greenbrier, water aerobic class. One of the most rewarding seasons of Phyllis’ full life was when she and Stan became a Certified Healing House Network Ministers Team. They enjoyed several years of coming alongside people, helping them to learn to live in the fullness of joy that Christ provided through His death and resurrection. Phyllis was predeceased by her first husband, Henry Arthur Hewitt.
Left to cherish her memory are her husband of 44 years, Stanley Ray Opie; children, Rhonda Russell (Chris) of Chesapeake, David Hewitt of Portsmouth, Scott Opie (Karen) of Chesapeake, and Kim Hewitt of Chesapeake; siblings, Linda Sawyer of FL, Marlene Radcliffe (Joe) of Chesapeake, and Ron Gesiewski (Stephanie) of Newport News; grandchildren, Scott, Henry, Meredith, Kaitlin, Zachary, Jaclyn and Heather; niece, Ashley; nephews, Drew, Brett, Daniel, Lee, Mark, and Kenny; and a host of other family and friends.
The family will be gathering on Monday at 6:30 pm at New Life Church, Kempsville Campus with a prayer service starting at 7:00 pm. A life celebration service will be held on Wednesday at 11:00 am at the church with a reception following. The family would like to thank the staff at Beth Sholom Village and Hospice and Palliative Care of Tidewater for their compassionate care. The family would also like to express their gratitude for all the friends who volunteered their time and care over the years. In lieu of flower memorial donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association at www.tmcfunding.com. Express condolences to the family at www.altmeyerfh.com
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