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Phyllis (Des Marais) Arkett, 95

Phyllis (Des Marais) Arkett, 95, passed away peacefully on November 22, 2023 at Ohio Living Rockynol in Highland Square in Akron, Ohio.  Phyllis was born on March 4, 1928 in Orange, New Jersey to the late George F. and Louise (Gietzen) Des Marais.
Phyllis graduated from Clifford J. Scott High School in East Orange, New Jersey in 1946.  After High School, she attended Centenary Junior College in Hackettstown, NJ. then went on to Rutgers University where she proudly earned her Medical Technology degree in 1950.  She initiated her medical career as a Medical Technologist, ASCP, at Mountainside Hospital in Montclair, NJ that same year.
Phyllis shared her cherished life with her beloved husband Allen, for over 70 years.  Introduced by Allen’s father who chaperoned an after-school public service event, they found they shared common outdoor interests including snow skiing, sailing, ice skating, tennis, camping, and travel.  They developed a loving bond and were married September 22, 1951 at Christ Episcopal Church in East Orange, NJ.  They started their life together in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania then later moved to Wayne, PA where they began a family in their first home.  Later moving to Morristown, NJ, they had their third child before Allen’s transfer from Babcock & Wilcox New York offices to Barberton, Ohio.  Taking up residence in Norton, Ohio, their fourth child was born.  Phyllis was known to remark that they were settled and not moving again because with every move, came another child!  Over the next 50 plus years, Phyllis’ life was dedicated to raising four children while serving her community of Norton, St. Andrews Episcopal Church in Barberton, and Scouting, all the while, engaging her family in gardening, outdoor, and cultural and social activities in the area and beyond.  Music was ever present in the house as husband Allen shared his musical background with the family.  Phyllis noted that music was not one of her talents, however, she compensated for this perceived shortcoming by marrying a cello player and barbershop singer.
Phyllis engaged in her community of Norton by serving on the Parks and Cemetery Board, and also participated as a member of the Historical Society.  Her love of the great outdoors was her strong suit for participation in the development of Norton’s parks and her interest in genealogy was heightened by her curiosity of Norton’s history and preservation of its cemeteries.  She had a keen interest in genealogy particularly her Des Marais and de L’etoile ancestry.
She was a devoted life member of Ohio’s Western Reserve Girl Scouts and a member of The Order of the Silver Trefoil, an organization for long-time Girl Scout members who want to remain active.  In her youth, she attended Eagle Island camp on Saranac Lake in New York.  It was here she enjoyed hiking and camping, and learned to sail and canoe while developing life-long skills and friendships.  Phyllis actively participated with her children in scouting activities and helped to nurture many fond memories of the Girl Scout’s Camp Ledgewood and Boy Scout’s Camp Manatoc, both in Peninsula, Ohio.
In addition to being a Scouting enthusiast, Phyllis enjoyed tennis, swimming, sailing, and ice skating, her favorite activity, all which she shared with her children.  As a child, she took skating lessons at New York City’s Rockefeller Center alongside Dick Button, skater and analyst, and later met Carol Heiss Jenkins, skater, in the Akron area.
With her grown children heading off to college, she restarted her professional career spanning nearly 15 years as a Histologist at the former Akron Medical Lab, owned and managed by Dr. Ida Djung Wong, Pathologist, then onto the Barberton Citizens Hospital Laboratory upon the retirement of Dr. Djung.  Phyllis and Dr. Djung formed a special friendship and met regularly for lunch at Rockynol where Djung resided.  It was with Djung’s introduction to the Rockynol community that Phyllis and Allen decided to relocate from their home in Norton to Independent Living at Rockynol in Akron’s Highland Square neighborhood in 2012.
Along with her birth parents and step-mother, Louise S. (Greve) Des Marais, Phyllis was preceded in death by her husband, Allen Howard Arkett; her brother, Richard F. Des Marais; her sister-in-law, Elizabeth Lefeber; her beloved first born child, Lisa Arkett Carver; and her nephew, Andre Lefeber.  She is survived by her son, Stuart (Marilyn) Arkett; daughters, Jennifer (Lonnie) Arkett; Casley (Robert) Nagengast; son-in-law, Jon Carver; sister-in-law, Jean (Harold) Somerset; niece, Cheri (Steve McCall) Des Marais; nephew, Jim (Lyn) Des Marais; nephew, Anthony (Pat) Lefeber; grandchildren, Erin (Andrew), Camille, Gabrielle, Claire, Sara (Jack), Keaton, and Paula; great granddaughter, Ivy; and many loving family members and friends.
Phyllis was grateful for a long life with good health and travel experiences complete with much happiness and many wonderful friends.  She possessed a zest for life, trying new foods and experiences, all with a welcoming nature towards newcomers.  Her fondest recent memories were of walks by the pond at Rockynol and feeding the ducks, “Quack Quack” and “Munchkin”, with her fellow residents and friends.
A celebration of Phyllis’ life will take place at a future date to be determined.  Cremation has taken place and she will rest alongside her husband Allen at Western Star Cemetery in Norton, Ohio as well as Riverside Cemetery in Killington, Vermont.  In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church of Barberton, OH, the Summit Metro Parks Foundation in Akron or Girl Scouts of North East Ohio in Macedonia, OH.
The Arkett family extends their sincere gratitude to the dedicated Ohio Living Rockynol staff, nurses, aides, therapists, and hospice care for your exemplary care of our mother, and our father.
At this time, you are invited to view Phyllis’ tribute wall at  to offer condolences and share remembrances of this kind, gentle woman who left a lasting impression on so many.
Bacher-Moore Funeral Home/Norton Branch

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