Phyllis Manning, ‘Town-Crier’ Matriarch, Passes Away At Age 75

Phyllis Audrey Manning

Phyllis Audrey Manning, matriarch of the Town-Crier newspaper since 1998, died on Sunday, Jan. 16, 2022, following a long illness. She was one week shy of her 76th birthday. She was a sweet, loving and compassionate woman taken far too soon, but after a difficult time, her family is comforted in knowing that she is in a better place and no longer in pain.

Phyllis was born Jan. 23, 1946, to the late Arthur and Miriam Gometz. Born at the very start of the generation that would become known as the Baby Boomers, she grew up in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, where she graduated from Abraham Lincoln High School and attended Brooklyn College. Raised by a craftsman jeweler, Phyllis was known to have great expertise and amazing taste in jewelry, as well as fashion and accessories, which she adapted throughout her life to keep herself always looking fashion forward.

At age 12, she was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes, a diagnosis she shares with her brother Martin. While the treatments of the time would keep her alive, they were far from perfect. Life expectancy for juvenile diabetics in the 1950s was low. Perhaps she might live into her 50s. Thanks to her indomitable spirit, and some major advances in medical technology, Phyllis beat those odds and lived to be among the first generation of geriatric juvenile diabetics.

Her struggles did not coarsen her personality. Phyllis was an exceptionally kind, generous woman who made friends everywhere she went. She listened intently to what other people had to say, and she remembered it. She could have conversations that went on for hours. Whoever was sitting next to her became her new best friend, and Phyllis has friends still today from all parts of her life, and with each one, she shared a special relationship.

Phyllis met the man who would become her husband, Barry, on a street corner in Brooklyn one day in 1963, introduced by mutual friends. It was a love that persevered the ups and downs of a long life. They married three years later in 1966, and on Nov. 6, 2021, surrounded by friends and family, they celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary.

While she worked early in her life doing clerical work, and in the banking and real estate industries, her later years were spent working with her husband on their business ventures. Since 1998, she has been the co-owner and president of Newspaper Publishers Inc., parent company of the Town-Crier newspaper. She loved her deep involvement in the local community and cherished the many friends she made along the way.

Although doctors warned it could be dangerous for a juvenile diabetic, Phyllis had two children, sons Joshua and Robert, in the 1970s. She loved them immensely and cared for them from both near and afar for the rest of her days. She was always proud of them, both when they took her advice and when they decided to go in another direction.

However much she loved her children and husband, none of that held a candle to her seven grandchildren. It was a love that early on, they said she was not destined to know. But it burst onto the scene in 2004 with the arrival of Arianna Elizabeth, and grew in the banner year of 2007, when Amelia Eve, Jasper Jordan and Arthur Jacob joined her family. Diana Jade and Micah Jared joined the crew in 2013, followed by Alexander Elias in 2015. While once she thought her children were perfect, now it turns out her grandchildren were even more perfect.

Phyllis doted on her grandchildren and saw them as often as she could, which, unfortunately, was not often enough over the past few years. However, she was so incredibly happy to have them all in the same place at the same time at the end of December. The family is thankful that all of her grandchildren shared happy memories with her, and she certainly left this world with happy memories of them.

The past few years were not kind to her. Battling diabetes and Parkinson’s, in the end, it was two different forms of cancer that she was unable to beat. She did not like how the last few years robbed her of her independence and carefree spirit. The last six months, in particular, were very difficult for Phyllis, and now she is at peace.

Pre-deceased by her parents, Arthur and Miriam Gometz, she is survived by her husband Barry Manning; brother Martin Gometz; sister-in-law Joyce Gometz; sons Joshua and Robert Manning; daughter-in-law Stephanie Manning; son-in-law Dr. David Hu; grandchildren Arianna Elizabeth, Amelia Eve, Jasper Jordan, Arthur Jacob, Diana Jade, Micah Jared and Alexander Elias; along with a large extended family who loved and adored her, including Merle and Dr. Lawrence F. Markus, Myra and David Manning, and Claudia and Dr. Mark Manning.

A memorial service was held Wednesday, Jan. 19 at Beth Israel Memorial Chapel in Boynton Beach. She was laid to rest on Sunday, Jan. 23 at Beth David Cemetery in Elmont, New York.

The family suggests that contributions in loving memory of Phyllis Manning be made to either the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation or the Wellington Community Foundation.