Phyllis Spellers
Tuesday
18
January

Visitation

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Tuesday, January 18, 2022
Capital City Christian Church
15 Locust Lane
Frankfort, Kentucky, United States
Tuesday
18
January

Funeral Service

2:00 pm
Tuesday, January 18, 2022
Capital City Christian Church
15 Locust Lane
Frankfort, Kentucky, United States
Wednesday
19
January

Committal Service

3:00 pm
Wednesday, January 19, 2022
Green Hill Cemetery
East Main Street
Frankfort, Kentucky, United States

Obituary of Phyllis Spellers

Phyllis Ann (Harris) Spellers – fierce lover of family, books, shoes, soul food, gardening, dancing and life – died unexpectedly of heart failure at her home in Frankfort, Kentucky, on January 12, 2022. She was 77. Phyllis was born in Millville, Kentucky, the third oldest of nine children in the Harris family. The family moved between Frankfort and Millville, where their father Theodore Harris worked at the Brown and Foreman distillery. Everyone contributed to running the family farm, and Sundays were for worship and fellowship next door at Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church. Phyllis graduated at the top of her class from Simmons High School in Versailles and went on to study at Kentucky State University. Her first professional position was at the university. From there she worked at South Central Bell, where she developed the velvety smooth “customer-service voice” for which she was known. She married Gary Spellers, another Frankfort native, and they had their first child Gary Spellers Jr. in 1966 and daughter Stephanie Spellers in 1971. The Spellers were close to their huge extended family and friend circle across central Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, Illinois and New Jersey. Everywhere she went, Phyllis was beloved for her generous spirit, room-filling smile, contagious laughter, fierce protection and kindness to all. Phyllis and Gary Sr. separated in the late 1970s, but she remained in Frankfort and continued as a strong single mother to Gary and Stephanie. In 1983 her AT&T job took her to Knoxville, Tennessee, where she was based for more than 15 years. Upon her retirement from an administrative post at the University of Tennessee, she returned to Frankfort, the home she always loved. Retirement was short-lived, as Phyllis soon took up working for the state’s retirement services. She retired after nearly a decade and in 2014 started truly enjoying the fruits of her labors. She poured her energy into caring for family and friends (who freely admit how much she loved to boss everyone and to provide for all their needs). She also had a passion for romance novels, cooking and gardening, for gospel and soul music and especially for her church home, Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church. Phyllis is preceded in death by her father and mother, Theodore and Freddie Harris; two brothers James Edwards and Theodore, who died in their youth; and her husband Gary Spellers Sr. She will be remembered with deepest love by her children Gary Spellers Jr. and The Rev. Canon Stephanie Spellers; her grandsons Devon Spellers and Dustin Potter; her sisters Dorothy (Harris) Mason and Carolyn Harris; her brothers William, Carl Lee, Emerson “Sonnie” and Fred “Baby Bruh” Harris; and a host of nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins, colleagues and dear friends. Her smile and love will live forever through them. With special sensitivity to social distancing, the funeral service will be held at Capital City Christian Church in Frankfort on Tuesday, January 18th at 2:00 pm with visitation preceding at 1:00 pm. Pastor Donald Townsend will offer the eulogy, and The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry, Primate and Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, on whose senior staff her daughter serves, will offer prayers over the body and family. Her nephews Lynn Harris, Wendell Harris, Dejuan Metcalfe, Tahir Metcalfe, William Harris Jr. and Theodore Harris will serve as honorary pallbearers. The burial will occur on Wednesday, January 19, at 3:00 p.m. at Greenhill Cemetery. In addition to or in lieu of flowers, donations in Phyllis Spellers’ memory may be given to Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church, 875 Germany Road, Frankfort, KY, 40601.
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