In Memory of





Obituary for Phyllis B. Bower (Brunner)

Phyllis B Bower passed away peacefully at Ocean Medical Center with her family by her side at the age of 96. Phyllis was born on December 5, 1926 in Trenton to Fred and Marian Brunner of Cranbury. She attended local schools and graduated from Princeton H.S. in 1944. Phyllis continued her education at U. Mass - Amherst where she received a BA in Fine Arts. While at U. Mass she was a member of the university chorus, Naiads (Women’s Swimming team), Isogon (Senior Women’s Honorary Society), was a RA (resident assistant) in the dorms, Secretary of her Senior Class and a member/President of Kappa Kappa Gamma Sorority. Ever a faithful supporter and contributor to the University and its projects, Phyl served as a member of the Alumni Admissions Council for over 30 years.

Phyllis married George whom she met while in college, on November 27, 1948. They were married for 60 years prior to his passing in 2009. They first lived in Hillsborough, NH then moved to Manasquan, NJ where George served as a math teacher and coach for football, track and field, and golf. They built their home in Wall, NJ in 1953.

Phyllis gave birth to 5 children, 4 boys and 1 girl. (Rick, Bob (Terri), Nancy (Al), Doug (Lynda) and Jim (Kathy)) She started her teaching career in Point Pleasant, moved on to Wall HS where she taught home economics for 27 years. While at Wall HS she served as a club advisor, Junior Class advisor, Prom advisor, representative for WTEA, Negotiator and track and field official. In 1989 she was chosen as teacher of the year. After retirement Phyllis served on the Wall Board of Education.

Her community activities included being a founder of the Manasquan Junior Women’s Club. She served as the American Home chairman at local and state level. Later, she founded the Red Oak Womens Club and was the 1st president and served in the same position quite a few times. Phyllis also was the chairman of Youth and Education and Scholarship committees.

Phyllis has 13 grandchildren: Jaime (Eric) Fretheim, James (Chelsea) Bower, Commander USN Rob (Susie) Bower, Dr Lauren (Brian) Donnelly, Courtney (Michael) Bonura, Michael Krol, Jodi Bower-Maccioli, Jeff (Kelli) Bower, Steve (Jenna) Bower, Kristin (Kevin) Krupa, Josh Bower, Kate (Zach) Powell, Jason (Laura) Bower.

At present, Phyllis has 19 great grandchildren, with two more on the way due in July: Sophia, Lily, Cayden, Layla, Hailey, Addison, Zach, Jordan, Quinn, Maeve, Ashlyn, Angelina, Braden, Harper, Rowan, Trey, Henry, Andrew and Kayla.

Phyllis enjoyed needlework, gardening, travel, reading, swimming, cooking, but most of all being with family and enjoying their many activities. A saying attributed to many students she had had over the years was “Thanks for making a difference in my life” - a deeply appreciated gift.

A Celebration of Life will take place at Orender Family Home for Funerals, 2643 Old Bridge Road, Manasquan, NJ 08736 on Sunday, February 5th, 2023, from 1-4pm, with a service at 3pm. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to a charity of your choosing honoring Phyllis. To send condolences to the family please visit