Beloved mother and wife Phyllis Joyce Hildebrand (née Brenner), died peacefully, Thursday, April 28th, 2022. Phyllis was born in the Bronx, NY on November 20, 1927. She was the daughter of Sue and Jack Brenner and the sister of Gilbert Brenner.
Phyllis graduated high school early, at 16 1/2, and began working in NYC and taking courses at City College of New York (now CUNY). She earned both an undergraduate degree and a Masters in Education. She taught elementary school in New York City before moving to Long Island, first to Miller Place and then to a home she helped design in Wading River, NY. There, she and her husband, Herb, raised two children, David and Laura. She taught adult learners to read and learn how to take civil service and GED exams at the Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) of Eastern Suffolk. This was important work for her. Phyllis was also proud to be an activist, working for peace and justice. Starting in 2017, Phyllis and her husband Herb spent most of their time in Denver, Colorado, near their son’s family. She missed the beach, trees, and her home on Long Island and returned as often as possible.
Phyllis loved so many things, but above all, peace, racial and economic justice, art and experiences of all kinds, humor, reading, and the unique humanity of people, especially children. Her favorite author was Toni Morrison.
She is survived by her husband of 62 years, Herb, her children, Laura (and husband David Houppert) and David (and wife, Margaret Woodhull), and her grandchildren, Sam, Camilla, and Nicholas.
Phyllis was focused more than anything else on racial and economic discrimination, particularly of African Americans. In lieu of flowers, donations to any organizations redressing those issues would be most welcome. Of particular importance to Phyllis were the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (https://www.naacpldf.org/naacp-mission/ ) and the Southern Poverty Law Center (https://www.splcenter.org).