Phyllis Shipman Hairston, 101, a resident of Morristown and formerly of Union City, died peacefully in her sleep on Oct. 12, 2020, at Dewitt Place Assisted Living in Morristown.
The family will receive friends from noon to 1 p.m. on Saturday at White-Ranson Funeral Home. Graveside services will be held at 1 p.m. at Eastview Cemetery, with Jeff Kenee officiating.
Phyllis was born in Linn Creek, Mo., on Dec. 8, 1918, to the late William Audrey and Nell Coxen Shipman. Phyllis graduated from what is now known as the University of Central Missouri. After teaching a few years in Missouri, she and two college friends answered a call for teachers in Roswell, N.M. While there, she met her husband, the late W.C. “Bill“ Hairston. Their two children were born while they lived there. In 1956, Bill and Phyllis chose Union City as the place to spend the rest of their lives.
During her 25-year teaching career, Phyllis taught first grade and seventh-grade science. Later she attended the University of Memphis to achieve her library certification. She ended her various teaching positions as primary librarian. After retiring from the Union City School System, she began selling Longaberger Baskets at home parties and became a branch manager for that company.
Phyllis Hairston was a member of the Church of Christ, worshiping first with the Bishop Street congregation and later with the Exchange Street congregation. She served as children’s curriculum director, hostess for home Bible studies, fellowship and visitation member, and church librarian. She was an active member of national, state and local teacher organizations, the Athenian Club and a member of DAR. She and her husband, Bill, often opened their home to people who needed a place to stay. She delighted in sharing her home and flower gardens with others.
The family requests memorials be sent to Hometown Walk of Hope (Obion County Cancer Agency), 902 South Perkins St., Union City, TN 38261. The phone number is (731) 446-6866.
Phyllis Shipman Hairston was preceded in death by her parents, William Audrey and Nell Coxen Shipman; her sister, Pauline Allen; and her husband of 65 years, William Clifton “Bill” Hairston.
She is survived by a son and his wife, Mike (Chuckie) Hairston of Littleton, N.C.; and a daughter and her husband, Sharon (Eddie) Fuller of Morristown. Also surviving her are four grandchildren, David (Rachael) Hairston of Churchville, Md., Andy (Sarah) Hairston of Clayton, N.C., Jennifer Fuller of New York City and Emily (Seth) Rowlette of Knoxville. Phyllis was also blessed with six great-grandchildren, Jonas, Delaney, Isaiah and Naomi Hairston and Lennon and Ruby Rowlette.
The family requests that you please practice social distancing, wear a mask if you are able, no handshakes and no hugs.