HOLYOKE: Phyllis A. (Murphy) Bowler, age 82, of Holyoke and Barefoot Bay, FL, passed away peacefully on Sunday, April 15, 2018 at Holyoke Health Care Center. She was born in Brookline, MA, daughter of the late Arthur and Irene (Behr) Murphy. Phyllis was a WAC in the United States Army Ready Reserve from 1954 to 1957. She was a graduate of Deaconess School of Nursing and Holyoke Community College, and was a longtime Registered Nurse. She worked at Noble Hospital, Holyoke Hospital, and retired from the Holyoke Soldiers Home after breaking her ankle very severely while she was in her late 50s. That injury was quite debilitating for Phyllis, and while she never fully recovered, she continued to do many of the things she loved.
Phyllis was truly a very loving and caring and gentle human being, but, at the same time, she was also fierce and so smart in her own quiet way. She positively touched many people. Phyllis loved to travel with both family and friends. She took many cruises to the Caribbean, and she traveled to Mexico, California, and many places in between. Having spent many happy summers at her family’s cottage on Cape Cod during her youth, she developed a lifelong love of the Cape and enjoyed many happy vacations there with her family later in life. She fell in love with Florida, and spent many happy winters at her home in Barefoot Bay, which her children are lucky to still enjoy. She also loved Key West, where she purchased a couple of weeks’ time share at the Gallion Resort. Her children and friends still love spending time at the resort and have many happy memories of their time spent in Phyllis’s “happy place.” Phyllis was also a lifelong gardener who loved her flower beds and vegetable gardens. She was quite proud of the limes and lemons she grew in Florida.
Phyllis was predeceased by her husband, Joseph T. Bowler, Sr. in 1982. Joseph was a former Marine and special education teacher. She was also predeceased by her brother, Phillip Murphy, of Scituate, MA. She is survived by her four loving children: Joseph T. Bowler, Jr. of Holyoke, Christine D. Dragon and her husband Joseph of Holyoke, Irene J. Peterson and her husband Gregory of Holyoke and Susan T. Bowler-Sarage and her husband John of South Hadley; lifelong family friend and former son-in-law, Robert Lussier of Holyoke; five grandchildren: Stephanie Rummel and her husband David, Brian Lussier, Patrick Dragon, Alexander Dragon, and Serena Sarage; two great grandchildren: Luke and Riley Jane Rummel; sister-in-law, Betsy Murphy, of Winter Park, FL; brother-in-law, George Bowler, and sister in-law, Elizabeth (Lizzy) Frisino, both of Holyoke; and many nieces and nephews.
A Funeral Home Service will be held on Saturday, May 5, 2018 at 1:00 p.m. in the Barry J. Farrell Funeral Home, 2049 Northampton Street, Holyoke. Calling hours will be held prior to the service from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Burial will be private. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in memory of Phyllis to Holyoke Health Care Center, 282 Cabot St, Holyoke, MA 01040.