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Phyllis Elizabeth Rocke Fuchs

Date of Death: February 17, 2024

Date of Birth: July 8, 1933


Brunswick- Phyllis Elizabeth Rocke Fuchs died in Brunswick, Maine on February 17, 2024, in the loving company of her family. Many will remember her as the first children's librarian at the Curtis Memorial Library, "the story lady" who shared her love of books, music, and theater with generations of children and families.

Phyllis was born in East Orange, New Jersey on July 8, 1933, to Frederick and Virginia Barber Rocke. Frederick, an organist, choirmaster, and carillonneur, shared his love of music and literature with her. Virginia inspired Phyllis's lifelong love of beauty, good food and the joy of celebrating birthdays and holidays. After the passing of Frederick, Virginia worked to support the family and Phyllis was forever grateful.

Following her graduation from Eastside High School in Newark, New Jersey, Phyllis earned a scholarship to Newark College of Arts and Sciences of Rutgers University where she majored in English literature. In her junior year, Phyllis's interest in theater led her to be cast in a play where she met Alfred "Al" Fuchs, whom she married in 1955, shortly after she graduated summa cum laude with Phi Beta Kappa honors.

Phyllis and Al moved to Brunswick in 1962, and in 1966, Phyllis co-founded a program of preschool story hours at the Curtis Memorial Library. In 1980, after two years of commuting to Simmons College in Boston for weekend and summer classes, Phyllis earned a master's degree in library science and was elected to Beta Phi Mu, the international library honor society. She cultivated the Curtis Memorial Library's collection of children's books, directed summer programs, and performed story hours for over 30 years.

After retiring from the library, Phyllis devoted herself to her grandchildren, read stories to Head Start children, reviewed books for Maine schools and libraries, attended plays, and was a regular at operas simulcast to cinema. Every Christmas Eve, Phyllis read stories of the season to children and their families while her friend Al Miller acted them out, accompanied by Brad Terry on the clarinet. She loved to travel and delighted in people wherever she went. Phyllis's favorite weather was a hot July day and high humidity was just fine. She loved the ocean, was an excellent swimmer, an enthusiastic kayaker, a determined sailor, and a graceful ice skater who in her eighth decade, reluctantly gave up rollerblading.

Phyllis is survived by her husband, Al; son Christopher and his wife Susan; son Jeffrey, his wife Zeis and their son Baird; daughter Lisa Andrews, her children, Nicholas Andrews and his wife Briann, their children Olivia and Owen, Madison Andrews and her fiancé Derrick, Keenan Andrews and his fiancée Haley, Holden Andrews; son Eric, his wife Maritza, and their daughter Sofia.

A gathering in her honor will be held at the Curtis Memorial Library in the Morrell Meeting Room on Saturday, May 18 from two p.m. to four p.m. Contributions to the Curtis Memorial Library's Phyllis Rocke Fuchs Book Fund are welcomed.

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