HAMPSTEAD — Phyllis Deguzis Jennings (nee Secondo), 91, of Hampstead, NC died Friday, June 2, 2023 at her home with her loving family by her side.
Phyllis, known to most as Fifi, was born in Southington Connecticut on May 15, 1932. She was the daughter of the late Horace Secondo and Edna Della Porta Secondo who owned the Popular Restaurant in Southington. She attended Quinnipiac University, then known as Larson College, in the Secretarial Program. She worked as an Administrative Assistant to company presidents and vice presidents including Otis Elevator from which she retired. She could never get on an elevator without checking to see who built it. She deeply loved her family, was happiest when cooking for them. She made the best tomato sauce and meatballs and always had the pot of sauce ready for company. Fifi always had a smile for friends and strangers alike. She cared about the people around her, whether family, neighbors, friends and coworkers and she stayed in touch with friends from her school days and former coworkers.
Fifi was funny, usually because of silly things she did, like sitting in someone’s lap in a dark movie theater but she’d just laugh about it after being horrified for the duration of the movie. At every stage of life, she loved her life and was a great example of aging gracefully to her family. She was the best daughter, sister, wife, mother, aunt, grandmother and great grandmother that anyone could want. She loved us all deeply and was our biggest fan and supporter, encouraging us always.
She was a member of All Saints Catholic Church in Hampstead and was on their prayer chain for years, offering prayers for those who requested them. She loved bowling with her husband Jimmie Jennings who preceded her in death in March of this year. She was also preceded in death by her first husband Edward F. Deguzis in 1992 and her step-son, Gary Ray Jennings in 2021.
She is survived by her daughter Barbara Deguzis, her son Edward J. Deguzis and his wife Meg Gaffney, her grandchildren Ryan Deguzis and wife, Emily Gharadi, Taylor Deguzis Vincenzo and husband James Vincenzo and their boys James and Jack, and Andrew Deguzis and his partner Jennifer Canapetti, Layla Jennings Carrasquillo, her husband Eli and their son Camren.
Fifi also leaves behind her brothers, Dick Secondo and wife Bernie, Arthur Secondo and wife Marie, their adult children and grandchildren.
Services to be announced. She will be buried in her family plot in Southington, CT.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Dementia Society of America or the organization of your choice in her memory.