Virginia M. (Pilecki) Phalen

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Virginia M. (Pilecki) Phalen, June 18, 1932 – February 13, 2021. We celebrate the life of our mom, Ginny Phalen, who passed away peacefully at the age of 88 while a resident of Brookdale West Bay memory care unit.

Virginia Marie Bridget Pilecki Phalen was born to Edward and Dorothy Pilecki on June 18, 1932 and was a life-long resident of Warwick and a communicant of St. Peter Parish for more than 60 years. Ginny graduated from Lockwood High School in 1950 and went on to earn her nursing diploma from Roger Williams General Hospital, class of 1953. On a blind date set up by a fellow nursing student, Ginny met the love of her life, George Phalen. They married on May 21, 1955 and their 58 year adventure began. In an 1100 square foot, one bathroom home on Country Club Drive, Ginny managed to raise seven somewhat well-behaved children while George worked at the Providence Journal Bulletin. To navigate the chaos that is big family life, she learned that keeping busy was key. Outings to Roger Williams Park for sledding, scavenger hunts on Easter Sunday, skating and swimming at Arnold’s pond, fishing with the boys at the end of the street in Narragansett Bay, packing the station wagon and heading to the beach all provided the necessary distraction with the added benefit of creating cherished memories.

Before her marriage to George, Ginny was a practicing RN at Roger Williams Hospital. As a stay-at-home mom with a medical background, she became the neighborhood go-to healthcare advisor. Once the younger-half of the seven were squared away in high school, Ginny re-entered the workforce. She joined Comprehensive Rehabilitation Associates as a Nurse Case Manager handling worker compensation claims for insurance companies. She was later employed as a transportation aide for children with special needs, a position she absolutely loved. Retirement beckoned travel to Ginny and George and the seven provided opportunity across the United States. Trips to Arizona, California, Maryland, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, and Virginia along with London, Hawaii, and Las Vegas kept them busy for 16 years. Rhode Island was her home, the Paw Sox her team, Galilee her beach, Gaspee Days her parade. Ginny’s interests were many: Searching year round for perfect Christmas gifts, gardening, monthly lunches with her sister, monthly lunches with high school friends, reading and reading some more, photography and music, always music. Thanks to Mom, we, her seven children, were provided a soundtrack to our childhood.

Ginny was predeceased by her beloved husband George in 2013, her brother Eddie Pilecki, and her grandson Will Leigher. Ginny is survived by her sister Patricia Moulton of Northborough, MA and her seven children, Carol Greenfeld (Stu) of Cranston; Joanie Olson (Jeff) of Lincoln, NE; Kate Jordan (Matt) of Coronado, CA; Sue Leigher (Bill) of Ocala, FL; George Phalen (Lisa) of Virginia Beach, VA; Chris Phalen (Bonnie) of Warwick and Tim Phalen (Sheri) of Cranston. Twelve grandchildren and five great-grandchildren complete her devoted family.

The family would like to thank the staff at Brookdale West Bay, Clare Bridge unit for providing loving and attentive care and a safe environment, a challenging task in this COVID era. Gratitude and thanks also go to Hope Hospice and Palliative Care who completed the outstanding healthcare team.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend a Mass of Christian Burial on Thursday, February 18, at 10 a.m. in St. Peter Church, 350 Fair Street, Warwick. (Facial coverings and social distancing will be required.) Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the visiting hours will be private.

Although Ginny loved flowers, donations in her memory to Hope Hospice and Palliative Care, 1085 North Main Street, Providence, RI 02904 would not only honor her but also the front-line workers (especially nurses) that so deserve the respect and appreciation Ginny held for the profession. To leave condolence messages, please visit www.barrettandcotter.com

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