Phyllis M. (Lawson) Eklund was born 92 years ago in Brockton, Mass., and grew up in Campello, the Swedish neighborhood. Her earliest memories were of her father’s funeral home on Sheppard Street, where for a few years she lived with her parents, John and Signe (Birath) Lawson, and her older brother, John Quentin Lawson.
Phyllis carried the values of patience, compassion, kindness, and generosity instilled in her in childhood through her life’s journey, which would eventually take her to the other end of Plymouth County—Marion, Mass., where she died Nov. 12, 2022.
Phyllis graduated from Brockton High School in 1948. Shortly thereafter, she began dating Robert “Bob” Eklund, who grew up two blocks from her. She also began studies in dental hygiene, taking courses at Boston Dental and Boston University and going on to earn a degree at Forsyth School of Dental Hygiene.
After Phyllis and Bob married in 1954 and settled in Brockton, she continued her career, most notably as the school hygienist in Abington, Mass., until starting her own family. Soon, she was busy raising Jack, Jane, Julie, and Jill and putting her creative talents to use wallpapering, upholstering, knitting sweaters and Christmas stockings, and sewing clothing.
Phyllis served on the boards of the YWCA and the Wales Home. She got together with women friends in a weekly bowling league, for Thursday Club gatherings, in an investment group, and for rounds of golf.
In the late 1980s Phyllis and Bob retired to Marion, where they had summered for many years. She enjoyed a growing brood of grandchildren and loved orchestrating get-togethers for the entire family; the younger generation has treasured memories of Christmases spent together at East Hill Farm in New Hampshire.
A warm and friendly person with a classic sense of style, Phyllis had a ready wit, and even in her declining months, she could charm her family and her caregivers into bringing her endless bowls of ice cream.
She is survived by Bob, her husband of 68 years; son Jack and his partner, Laurie Mulgrew; daughter Jane and her wife, Sarah Bauhan; daughter Julie and her husband, Scott Kampmeier; daughter Jill and her husband, Chris Farrell; and six grandchildren.
Services will be private. Memorial donations may be made to the youth and family programs at the Old Colony Y, attn. Vincent Marturano, 320 Main St., Brockton, MA 02301 or the YMCA Southcoast, attn. Robyn Branco, 128 Union Street, Suite 304, New Bedford MA 02740. For online guestbook, visit www.saundersdwyer.com.