Tribute to Phyllis Channing

PUBLISHED: 13:10 01 May 2009 | UPDATED: 09:05 18 June 2010

REMEMBERED: Phyllis died at the age of 93.

REMEMBERED: Phyllis died at the age of 93.

SIDMOTHIAN and former Sidmouth Arts Club leading lady Phyllis Channing, took her final curtain call after dying peacefully in hospital at Exeter aged 93. Friends and family travelled to Exeter Crematorium for her funeral on Monday.

SIDMOTHIAN and former Sidmouth Arts Club leading lady Phyllis Channing, took her final curtain call after dying peacefully in hospital at Exeter aged 93.

Friends and family travelled to Exeter Crematorium for her funeral on Monday.

Phyllis, nee Hudson, was wife to Ron 'Rescuer' Channing who died 18 years ago, and mother of three sons, Michael, who died last year, Paul, who lives in Sidmouth, and David, from Weston-super-Mare.

She also had nine grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren, the youngest of which was born last week, after her death.

Born in Fulham in May 1915, Phyllis moved to Folkestone aged five and eventually settled in Sidmouth in 1924, going to Sidmouth Parish Church School.

After an apprenticeship at Fields, she ended up in its material department. She met Ron in 1927 and they married on Boxing Day 1934 in the Unitarian Chapel. During the war years she belonged to the local ENSA company, entertaining the troops as a singer and dancer and was a founder member of the Sidmouth branch of St John Ambulance.

Son David said: "Phyllis's great love was singing and dancing and she was an active member of Sidmouth Arts Club from the 30's to the 70's, taking lead roles on many productions, thrilling audiences with her performances.

"Her favourite show was the Gondolas."

In 1965 Phyllis, with close friend Rene Jones, assembled a group of pensioners and produced and directed variety shows, which they performed at the Manor Pavilion.

So successful were the shows they went on the road to surrounding towns and residential homes.

Phyllis battled cancer for many years and lately had problems with her sight and hearing.


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