Phyllis, I knew you before I formed you in the womb. Your frame was not hidden from Me when you were made in secret and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. I knew your genetic makeup would be the by-product of the late Joe Nathan Duckworth and Coretta Johnson Duckworth. My eyes saw your substance before it was formed. After My hands made and fashioned you an intricate unity, I presented you to this world on October 21, 1949 as a vibrant, bouncy, baby girl, affectionately knows as “Tweetie”. Phyllis was the fifth child of the nine children of which Nathaniel, Tyrone, and Ollie preceded her in death.
Phyllis, I had the details of your life planned before eternity. I watched you grow, I was there in your Christian walk, beginning at the Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church under the leadership of Reverend Sanders in Phoenix, IL; then onto True Holiness Church of God in Christ under the leadership of the late Elder James Harris.
I was there in your hunt for knowledge. I observed you as a small child as you ventured off to Coolidge Elementary School in Phoenix, and graduated from Thornton Township High School in 1967. I was there during your pursuit of higher learning as you entered Thornton Junior College, and graduated from Prairie State College with an Associate Degree in Child Development. I knew that there would be alternate routes in your life, that is why I built you for endurance. I knew you would understand that the race was not given to the swift nor to the strong, but to him who endures to the end.
Phyllis, I watched as you entered holy matrimony to Henry Munford, and experienced astounding joy as I blessed you with your daughter, Nina Jenetta.
Phyllis, I watched you over the years, and observed you as a very hard working, faithful, dedicated employee with the Ameritech/AT&T Company, as you moved up the ranks and was able to retire.
Phyllis, I noticed your special knack for decorating, arranging, and rearranging to make something out of nothing, your sense of style and fashion from clothes, etc. I watched at your enjoyment of listening to music, dancing, shopping, roller skating, camping as you influenced the lives of your daughter, your siblings, your friends, and neighbors. You see, I am the Father of Mercies, and God of all comfort, I was right there watching and waiting.
Phyllis, I saw you as you lie in sickness, I stood at the door and knocked, I waited for you. I knew you would choose me and you did. You have come home to a place where there is no more sickness, where the wicked shall cease from troubling, weary shall be at rest, no more sorrow, and where the Sabbath will have no end. You’ve fought a good fight, you have finished your course, come home my good and faithful servant. Come home.
Phyllis, it is now time to bid farewell to your daughter, Nina Munford Jackson (Gerald); granddaughter, Niona; a special friend, Laban Griffin; sisters, Teresa Jordan, Deborah Woullard, and Valeria Williamson; brothers, Morris, Percy (Ida), Joe Nathan Jr. (Valerie), and Leon; nieces, nephews, cousins, and a hosts of friends.