Phyllis Maxine Pelletier Fosnaught


Reisterstown, MD - Phyllis Maxine Pelletier Fosnaught died April 15, 2019 from Alzheimer's disease. She was 81.

Phyllis was born in Edmunston, New Brunswick, Canada, and was raised in Madawaska, ME, on the Canadian border. She was the daughter of Reginald and Blandine Pelletier and a descendent of the French Pelletiers who arrived in Canada in 1641. One of seven children, Phyllis grew up speaking French and picking potatoes, and she was proud of her background and heritage. At age 17, she left home for college in Boston and eventually for Europe, where she worked in Brussels and Munich and travelled extensively throughout the continent. She had a long, accomplished career with the United States Central Intelligence Agency .

While working in Washington, DC, Phyllis met and married her great love, William Fosnaught, in 1963. The couple had 53 happy years together, and five very lucky children. Phyllis was an excellent role model for her four daughters and one son, with a no-nonsense Yankee mentality that kept her children grounded and secure. She was outspoken, occasionally to the point of bluntness, but beneath a sometimes-aloof exterior was a true kindness and a deep regard for the feelings of others. She could not stand bullies and taught her children to stand up to them, and more importantly, to stick up for others who were being bullied.

Phyllis was a gracious host and a lover of novelty who relished an unfamiliar back road or unexplored town, and she never tired of rearranging the furniture and artwork in her home or replacing yet another lampshade. The Fosnaught family lived in Maine for a brief time but spent many more years in Maryland, living in Prince George's, Montgomery, and Frederick counties. After retirement, Phyllis and Bill settled in Carroll Valley, Pennsylvania.

Phyllis' family and friends have used many adjectives in remembering her: Elegant, well-read, thoughtful, patriotic, glamorous, witty, and strong, but one fits especially well: Ferocious. Alzheimer's was the greatest bully she ever faced, and she met it with courage and grace. This terrible disease took her memories and eventually all of her abilities, but it never took her spirit.

Phyllis is preceded in death by her parents, husband, sister Jean, grandson Brendan, and son-in-law David. She is survived by her five children, Monique Connealy (Patrick), Melanie Fosnaught (Dante Gabriel Rossetti), Maureen St. Denis (William), James Fosnaught (Anna Itenberg), and Mary Rostkowski (David); her grandchildren Nicole, Ashley, Brian, Katie, Heidi, Kristin, Noah, and Ella; and her great-grandchildren Kieran, Bennet, Klaus, and Sophira.
Published on April 18, 2019
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5 posts

Mark Fox
Apr 22, 2019
I don't have too many early childhood memories of cousin Phyllis but later on in life she and her husband would visit us in Fort Kent from time to time. I do recall my parents looking forward to those visits. They always spoke highly of Phyllis and Bill. I wish I had known them better. My prayers go out to Rachael, her sister, Dean, a brother, Carol, another sister and all of the other siblings Phyllis had. Another link to out heritage has snapped but she left a legacy to take up the task. Rest in peace "ma cousine"
Rachel Pelletier.
Apr 20, 2019
Rest in peace my dear sweet sister. So many great memories of our family. (thanks to James for the heart warming pictures). Love you. To be continued when we meet again.
Pete and Anne Couture
Apr 19, 2019
Our thoughts are with you this Easter Weekend, James! Your Mom accomplished so much, and appears to have been very blessed!
Claudia Flowers
Apr 19, 2019
Thinking of you all in this difficult time!! Much love
Brenda Bowers
Apr 19, 2019
I'm so sorry for your loss. 😔