Phyllis Rose Grebson

April 4, 1934 ~ December 31, 2020 (age 86)


Phyllis Rose Grebson, 86, of Surprise, AZ, (formerly of Altoona, PA) passed away with her family by her side in Henderson, NV on December 31, 2020 following a valiant battle with Covid 19 and other underlying conditions.

She was the loving mother of Gayle Russell (Roy) of Lakeside, CA and Cynthia Wisner (Joel) of Henderson, NV; grandmother of Sabrena, Cody, Hayley, and Blake; sister of Shirley Kumanchik, Victoria Iarussi, and Linda Iarussi. She was preceded in death by sister Sarah Roche, brother John Cannizzaro, and husband Robert Grebson.


Phyllis was born in Pittsburgh, PA on April 4, 1934 to Josephine (Lisanti) and Anthony Cannizzaro. She graduated from Holy Ghost Academy in 1951. On May 26, 1954, she married the love of her life, Robert Grebson. She spent most of her adult life working and living in Altoona, PA. Following her retirement from PA Dept. of Labor and Industry as a manager after 27 years of service, Phyllis and Bob moved to Arizona to enjoy the southwest and be nearer to their children and grandchildren. They enjoyed hosting friends and relatives from near and far and spent many adventures traveling and cruising.


Phyllis was described by everyone as a doer. There was nothing she could not accomplish. If there was a need, she rolled up her sleeves and found a way to satisfy it. She was an officer and member of many organizations including: Blair County Chamber of Commerce, The Literary Task Force, LPN Advisory Council, Human Resources Management Assoc., Employer Advisory Council, Private Industry Council, American Business Women’s Assoc., College Placement Committee, Altoona Chapter of Sweet Adelines, and received many awards for her contributions to her community. In Arizona, she was a member of Stained Glass Club, Newsletter Editor for PA Club, secretary of Jazz Fitness Club, Literacy Tutor, Visitors Center Volunteer, Singles Club (Our Lady of Lourdes), Theater West and Ambassadors Club of Sun City West.


Her final years were spent with a great community and friends at Fellowship Square in Surprise, AZ. Phyllis was a wonderful and caring mother, grandmother, sister, aunt and friend. She was dearly loved and will always be lovingly remembered from coast to coast by her many friends and family members. A Celebration of Life service will be scheduled in the spring. As Phyllis liked to say from her parents’ home country, “Arrivederci,” meaning until we meet again.


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