Phyllis Marilyn Sochin, 91, passed away at her home on Friday, August 28, 2020 after a prolonged and valiant battle with dementia. Phyllis was born in Meriden on July 28, 1929, the daughter of William and Rachel (Levine) Shoag. She was a 1947 graduate of Meriden High School and attended Tulane University and UCONN. It was at UCONN where she met Herman, her beloved husband of nearly 70 years.
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Phyllis was the “beacon” of her family and a consummate role-model whose devotion to family, friends and co-workers was unrelenting. She remained Judy and Bennett’s first and lifetime “teacher” by instilling in them the importance of education and the importance of achieving their maximum potentials. In addition to this, she imparted an impeccable value system focusing on kindness, generosity, service to others, selflessness and grace, all of which she not only embodied, but demonstrated every day, always putting everyone else’s needs ahead of her own. All of these qualities were evident not only in dealing with her family members but also with others. These qualities were the reason that people naturally gravitated toward her, many of them were people she met during chance encounters who later became close friends. To her family Phyllis was the epitome of a “Profile in Courage,” because she was undeterred despite suffering from several physical limitations. Instead of retreating, Phyllis’s determination enabled her to find alternative strategies that allowed her to remain active and to pursue activities she enjoyed, such as cooking, baking, playing in her monthly bridge group, reading and knitting beautiful sweaters, scarves and socks.
Phyllis was a perpetual “student” who loved music, history, and art. She shared her interests with her family by taking day trips to museums, concerts, and historical sites. In addition, she and Herman loved to entertain, and her culinary skills were well known to both family and friends, who were treated to indoor “menus” during the cooler months and buffets with creative and elaborate “delectables” around the pool during the summer months. Phyllis was also extremely proud of her Jewish heritage and took great pride in preparing traditional holiday meals to the delight of family and friends.
Phyllis worked for several employers from the time she was fourteen years old. She had an affinity for budgeting and numbers and spent the latter part of her working career in several facets of bookkeeping as a long-time employee for M. Seligman and Sons, Meriden Grain and Appliance and Meriden Fruit and Produce, working at each of those establishments until their businesses closed.
People just naturally gravitated toward Phyllis who embodied life’s simple qualities: kindness, generosity, selflessness, compassion, and grace. Although she rarely spent time watching television, she enjoyed the comedy series of “Everybody Loves Raymond.” Unable to recognize her outstanding qualities, she was often told that someday there would be a show called “Everybody Loves Phyllis.”
In addition to her husband, Phyllis leaves behind her loving children, Judy Sochin of Meriden, Bennett Sochin (Patti) of Seekonk, MA, grandchildren, Joshua Sochin of Middletown, and Rebecca Sochin of Philadelphia, PA, and a sister Barbara Gross of Wallingford. She was also predeceased by her brother Alex Shoag.
The entire Sochin family would like to thank the many caretakers who have been invaluable with their loving and compassionate care of Phyllis and who helped navigate through this difficult period. Each of them was able to see that despite the ravages of her disease, she remained at her core, a truly sweet and wonderful wife, mother, grandmother, and friend. Special thanks to Gulzat Zakir-Kyzy, Carla Martins, Phillipa Kerr and Christina Fonseco.
Family and friends are invited to attend a graveside service on Monday August 31, 2020 at 12pm at the Temple B’Nai Abraham Cemetery, 110 Courigan Ave., Meriden. There will be no period mourning, due to the Coronavirus. Donations can be sent to St. Jude’s, 501 St. Jude Place Memphis, TN 38105, The Hole-in-the Wall Gang, 555 Long Wharf Drive New Haven, CT 06511, Alzheimer’s Association, 225 N. Michigan Ave., Fl. 17, Chicago, IL 60601 or any charity of choice. Arrangements are under the direction of the John J. Ferry & Sons Funeral Home, 88 East Main St, Meriden, CT 06450.