Phyllis Sawtelle Lockett

January 24, 1925June 6, 2018

Phyllis passed away at Westminster Canterbury of the Blue Ridge in Charlottesville, VA on June 6, 2018.

She grew up in Virginia and moved to Bristol in the 3rd grade. Her love of music began when she took piano lessons in the 6th grade. Phyllis was an assertive woman and her feistiness was apparent when she staged a walkout in her senior year of high school in protest of a poor English teacher. She met her husband, of 74 years, when they were in high school. She later attended Sullins College and her husband entered VMI. With the beginning of WWII, he entered in the Air Force. He and Phyllis were married in Tucson AZ before he left for the South Pacific. Her feistiness appeared once again when she stood in front of the plane, blocking it as it was carrying her husband away to war. Fortunately, a compassionate Colonel took her in his jeep to the end of the runway to watch the plane take off. She returned to Bristol to await the return of her husband during which time she gave birth to a daughter.

When her husband returned from WWII, she adopted the itinerant life of an Air Force wife - moving to Tennessee, Virginia, Illinois, Alaska (where she had a son), Oklahoma and then back to Virginia after her husband left the Air Force. She lived in the Mount Vernon area of Fairfax County for the next 44 years. Her interest in the performing arts included being a member of the musical group, the Cornettes, while in Oklahoma and singing in the choir at Washington Street Methodist Church in Alexandria, VA. For years, she volunteered at the Little Theater of Alexandria. She was also a member of the Mount Vernon Republican Women’s Club and was a fundraiser for the National Symphony.

She is survived by her husband, a daughter in Falls Church, a son in Venice, FL, two brothers, 5 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren.

A Celebration of Life service will take place on Monday, June 25, 2018 from 10:30am to 1:00pm at Westminster Canterbury of the Blue Ridge, 250 Pantops Mountain Road, Charlottesville, VA 22911.


  • Celebration of Life Monday, June 25, 2018

Phyllis Sawtelle Lockett

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