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David, Phyllis April 7, 1930 – January 23, 2024. Phyllis David age 93, of Grand Rapids, MI went to be with our Lord, Jesus Christ, in the early morning of January 23, 2024. She was born to Mose and Wadia (Nemer) Yanney in Lexington, NE on April 7, 1930. With her family she eventually moved to Lincoln, NE where she graduated from Northeast High School in 1948 and attended Nebraska Wesleyan.
For many years her family owned and operated a diner, the Cottage Café, and she worked side by side with her mother in preparing the meals where she learned her love of cooking. Friends and family will attest she was a fabulous cook and that she always credited her mother and later, her mother-in-law, Connie, for teaching her so much about Lebanese cuisine, cooking, and baking.
She was passionate about baking the perfect telamee (Lebanese bread) and her telamee zahtar, telamee sumsum and telamee giben became favorites for many. Baking days meant the gathering of family and friends to enjoy each other while overindulging in her delicious freshly baked bread.
She met the love of her life, our dad, Don, at a church convention in Cedar Rapids, IA, and after a short courtship (he proposed on their first date!) they married in Sioux City, IA on October 14, 1951. After living in Sioux City for a couple of years they moved to Denver, CO for a year before settling in Grand Rapids, MI in 1954 where they raised their four children.
A few years after their last child, Charese, was born, she went to work in the Grand Rapids Public School system working as a para-professional with elementary children in the Montessori program. As a devoted educator she lovingly touched the lives of the many children who looked to her for both learning and love and whose reciprocated love blessed her long after retirement. Congress Montessori colleagues celebrated her 25 years of important classroom work with an amazing party reflecting the positive impact she made on both students and teachers.
Learning and love were lavished again upon her grandchildren and great grandchildren. She relished in the time spent with each one, and shared with them, how proud she was of each of their accomplishments.
After retiring she assisted her adoring husband, Don, in his wedding and portrait photography business for many years, in conjunction with helping her son in law, Don, keep fastidious track of tedious details at his office. As an active and faithful member of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church, she loved attending liturgy, helping the Sunday school as Superintendent and praising God with her beautiful soprano voice in the choir. She was also an avid sports fan-especially when it came to University of Nebraska, University of Michigan, local sports and later, even MSU (mostly because two of her grandchildren attended!) It was not unusual to hear her cheering enthusiastically for a great athletic feat. Phyllis enjoyed taking long walks-well into her 80s, was an avid reader, insisted on a great cup of coffee (a bad cup of coffee could ruin any meal!) and was an excellent gardener. Her flower beds were enjoyed by all who toured the neighborhood.
But with all that she participated in, in this life, and all that she enjoyed, she loved nothing more and nothing was more important to her than her friends, her family, and her faith. She knew no other way to be than to “Love your neighbor as yourself” as Christ commanded. And believed wholeheartedly that “To have a friend, one must be a friend.” Her life is truly a testament to that.
Phyllis will be lovingly missed by her children Jonathan (Tricia) David, Jennifer (Don) Kallil, Charese David, grandchildren, Cameron (Rachel) David, Alexandra David, Jeffrey (Lauren) Kallil, Elizabeth (Anees) Mokhiber, Olivia (Rammi) Qaqish and Nina Kallil, her great grandchildren Elias, Lena and Nico, her sister Lorraine (Don) Nemer, brother, David (Pam) Yanney, and many nieces and nephews. Besides her parents and her husband, Don (2017), she was preceded in death by her son, Steven (1988), brothers James (2014) and Leroy (2017), and her sisters Yvonne (2016) and Loretta (2024).
Visitation will be held Sunday, January 28, 2024, from 2:30-5:00pm at the Metcalf & Jonkhoff Funeral Home with a Trisagion prayer service and comments held at 5:00pm. The funeral service will be held at 11:00 am, with visitation at 10:00 am, on Monday, January 29, 2024, at St. George Orthodox Church, 334 LaGrave Ave. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. George Orthodox Church.
St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church
334 LaGrave Ave SE, Grand Rapids MI 49503