Phyllis Barnett

Phyllis Barnett

Staff Reports's picture
December 9, 1925 - May 15, 2022

On the morning of Sunday, May 15, 2022, Phyllis Hipp Barnett got her wish and slipped peacefully from sleep into the arms of her savior, Jesus Christ. At the time of her passing, she was a resident at NHC HealthCare in North Augusta, SC.

She was born in Greer on December 9, 1925, to Callie Cagle and Benie Bryan Hipp. She was married to Marshall B. Barnett, a veteran of World War II, who died in 1990, and she was predeceased by a much-loved sister, Doris Haney.

Phyllis lived the first 93 years of her life in Greer and never understood why anyone would want to live anywhere other than the South Carolina Upstate. It was only after she was widowed and then retired from the sewing room of Springs Manufacturing in Lyman that she ever wandered far from Greer. 

Around 2001, her world was greatly expanded when she discovered the joys of being with other lively, seasoned adults who traveled on trips planned and executed by local churches. With those groups, she ventured to Savannah, Atlanta, Orlando, Nashville, Washington, DC and Niagara Falls. She saw and experienced things that she had not even been able to imagine. These experiences broadened her perspective and brought her tremendous joy.

Like others of her generation, Phyllis was independent, frugal, loyal, stoic, and stubborn. When she loved, she loved fiercely. When she loved you, she hugged you so tightly that your ribs felt bruised, but your heart was full. Children, up until the end of her life, were her favorite people and her greatest interest. She was very involved in the early lives of her granddaughter, Tammy, and her two great-grandsons, Anthony and Yogan.

Three years ago, at the age of 93, Phyllis left her much cherished home in Greer and moved to North Augusta and into the care of Steve and Sandy Hobbs. Sandy was a niece, and Steve was the person she most trusted to oversee her affairs in her final years. She was welcomed to her new home and quickly developed a wonderful, loving network of friends at Brookdale Assisted Living. She became Aunt Phyllis to many of Sandy and Steve's friends and family members. On her 95th birthday, she received more than 95 cards. During the isolation of Covid, she was on the local news talking about what it was like to be in a senior living facility when loved ones could no longer be present for in-person visits.

Phyllis had not had the advantage of much formal education but was impressively self-educated and street smart. She had dropped out of high school a year before graduation to support herself. She bought her first house at the age of 16. She loved growing flowers and took tremendous pride in keeping up her flower beds at her home in Greer. She enjoyed cooking for those she loved and music. Her voice was lovely and as a young teen, she and one of her later sisters-in-law, Dot Forrester, and another friend sang as a trio in some local churches. Her favorite gospel music singer was Elvis and thanks to the internet, Elvis quietly sang gospel songs to her for most of her last 48 hours on this earth.

Phyllis was much-loved and respected by those who cared for her and was appreciated for her kindness, her gratitude, and her quick sense of humor. She had a lovely way of making others feel recognized and cared about. Many of the NHC staff members called her Grandma and over the last weeks many repeated stories of how she had touched their hearts.

She is survived by one daughter, Barbara Gregory (Bill) in Greer; one granddaughter, Tammy Shelton (Mark) in Greer; and two great-grandsons, Anthony Inman (Wellford) and Yogan Gallegos (Texas). She also has many nieces, nephews, and great-nieces and great-nephews, most of whom reside in South Carolina. Her niece, Renee Pruitt, and her husband, Jim, made the trek from Greenville to North Augusta to see her regularly, and their visits were much welcomed and appreciated. Her closest surviving friends were Bobbie Williams and Hugh Brooks of Greer. Over the last three years, she came to love and adore Will, Lila, and Hadley Hobbs.

Memorials for Phyllis can be made to a children's charity of your choice and will be greatly appreciated.

A private burial at Hillcrest Cemetery will be held at a date that has not yet been scheduled.

The Greer Citizen

317 Trade Street Greer, SC 29651

Phone: 1-864-877-2076

Sign Up For Breaking News

Stay informed on our latest news!

Manage my subscriptions

Subscribe to Greer Citizen newsletter feed
Comment Here