Phyllis Heinen, 78, of Greenlawn, NY, passed away peacefully on June 15, 2022. She was preceded in death by her parents, John and Louise Heger, her husband, Heinz “Peter” Heinen, and her brother, Richard Heger. She is survived by her stepson Chris Heinen and grand-daughter, Cecilia Heinen.
Phyllis was a math teacher at Smithtown schools for her entire career. She also mentored student teachers from Stony Brook University. She enjoyed working at The Writing Place in Stony Brook after retiring from teaching. She was an active member of her church, Smithtown United Methodist, where she held leadership positions. She enjoyed the company of her three dogs over the past many years, Midas, Apollo, and Hannah.
Phyllis’ enormous personality, giving nature, and infectious laugh will be sorely missed by all that knew her.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to two of Phyllis’ beloved causes: Make-A-Wish and the Guide Dog Foundation.
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Margaret Von Gonten
We shared a beautiful friendship for over a half a century. What a journey it was! A good friend knows all your secrets, but a best friend helped write them. Phyllis, you were a BEST friend
It is so difficult to say a final goodbye to Phyllis since she was just up to visit with us in Connecticut last summer in August. Even though we both grew up in New Hyde Park, we did not know each other until we finished college and both took jobs teaching math at schools on Long Island. We met when our apartment roommates got married and Phyllis and I moved in together. We were so alike. It was as if we had found a sister to share everything at anytime. Phyllis was my Maid of Honor at my wedding and my husband Ray was the Best Man when Phyllis and Peter were married. We continued to see each other and when we moved to Connecticut it was phone calls and visits. Phyllis, you were generous, kind, sharing and such a wonderful part of my life. I will always remember you and all we shared.
Phyllis was very friendly, welcoming, and easy to talk with. She possessed a great sense of humor! Phyllis was an inspiring member of Smithtown UMC who took on many leadership positions at church. Members of our church were very concerned during her illness. Phyllis and I shared our Germanic heritage and the challenge of anti-German sentiment because of World War II. (My mother's family is from a German-speaking area of Slovakia.) Rest in peace Phyllis. You have been delivered from your long and painful illness and reunited with your husband, your dog Apollo and other loved ones who predeceased you. We miss you so much! Auf Wiedersehen!
The first time I saw Phyllis was about 50 years ago at a Tall Club Dance in NYC. She was wearing a beautiful red dress on the dance floor. We became good friends. She was one of the co-founders of the Tall Club of Land. She was so energetic, outgoing and always open to new ideas. I've been on a variety of trips with her over the years. She was always full of vitality, very friendly -we met so many people wherever we went. I was so glad she and Peter had a great life together even though it had been cut short; that was such an important part of her life. I miss not being able to call her and share what is going on in her life and about her opinion on various things happening in mine. I will always remember her as that graceful lady happily dancing across the dance floor.
I feel blessed to have visited Phillis in the Nursing Home and having a great conversation with her along with John Downes, the Lord is merciful and he alone.will save. "Rest In Peace my sister in Christ."
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