In memory of
PHYLLIS KEATING SMITH /20/1924 - 5/20/2020 ST. AUGUSTINE - Smith
PHYLLIS KEATING SMITH 12/20/1924 - 5/20/2020 ST. AUGUSTINE - Phyllis Keating Smith, 95, of St. Augustine, passed away May 20, 2020, in Winter Haven, Florida. A third-generation Floridian, she was born in Daytona Beach on December 20, 1924, to the Keating family, who built the first pier on the beach, the Keating Pier and Casino. After Phyllis's mother died in 1934, she and her 5 siblings were raised by their widowed father. She graduated from Seabreeze High School, and worked for the Navy hospital in Daytona during part of the war. Phyllis met Farris 'Bud' Smith on the beach where he was a lifeguard, and they were married in 1943. After the war they lived in Haines City, FL, where Bud practiced Optometry; in Phyllis' words, she was a 'PTA mom' and worked occasionally in Bud's office. The pair loved to travel with friends and family, snorkel and scuba dive in the Keys, and when Bud joined the Highway Patrol Auxiliary, they both became adept marksmen at a local range; she last shot her pistol at age 94. They moved to St. Augustine, FL, in 1993, where they joined Anastasia Baptist Church and sang in the choir. She and Bud celebrated their 70th anniversary in 2013, a great milestone; the local newspaper honored them with an article reminiscing on their lengthy marriage. She shared their secret for seven decades of marriage - 'When we married, we planned to stay married. We didn't think there was any other option. Being patient and faithful to each other are the keys,...and oh, yes, a good sense of humor helps.' Phyllis was kind and loving, laughed often and easily, and had a great and sometimes mischievous sense of humor. Raised in an era when politeness was important, she still reminded others of correct grammar and etiquette. She loved her vegetables but also had a non-discriminating sweet tooth. Among her recent favorite pastimes were crossword puzzles, Rummikub, and visiting thrift stores, looking for 'unexpected riches.' She was preceded in death by her parents, Cochran and Stella Keating, her brothers James, Sonny, and Tom Keating, and sister Stella Cole. Phyllis is survived by her sister Marilyn Davis of St. Augustine, sons Bryan (Jeanie) of Jasper, GA; Steve (Paul) of Key West; and Michael (Amy) of Winter Haven; 4 grandchildren, and 4 great-grandchildren. She is also survived by many nieces and nephews, and many dear friends. We will all miss her but consider ourselves so very blessed to have had her share in our lives for all these years. A memorial service will be held at a later date.
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