Phyllis J. Ralston Randall, 94, Watertown

WATERTOWN, NY —  Phyllis J. (Ralston) Randall, 94, Watertown, passed away Wednesday, July 7, 2021, at Samaritan Summit Village with her family by her side.

Phyllis was born May 16, 1927, in Steubenville, OH, daughter of Dallas and Nora Ralston.

She worked for over 45 years as a bookkeeper and office manager for several major car dealerships in Watertown, retiring from Greenwood Buick in 1992.

Phyllis was known for her intellect, curiosity, and resourcefulness.  Despite being unable to attend public high school for several years due to the religious and political differences of the time, she graduated from Watertown High School as salutatorian in 1945.  This was an extraordinarily proud accomplishment for Phyllis and her family.

She demonstrated an exceptional love of her family throughout her life.  Although Phyllis and Norman lived very modestly, they were extremely generous and always welcomed anyone and everyone to their home, whether it was to swim in the pool, stay for a meal, or stay for a while — for a few hours or even several months. She never missed her daughters’ concerts or performances (including every dress rehearsal).  She was an accomplished pianist, an avid photographer, a prolific seamstress, and a heck of a card shark.  She also loved a good turn of a phrase and was a stickler for the proper pronunciation of some of her favorite words.

She is survived by four daughters, Robin (Ricky) Cook, Watertown; Rose (Torsten) Rhode, Canandaigua; Laurie (William) Robbins, Syracuse; Rebecca Randall and Patty Fay, Watertown; seven grandchildren, Sarah Colbert, Casey Cook, Samantha Cook, Nicholas Rhode, Matthew Rhode, Michael Rhode, and Thomas Robbins; three great-grandchildren, Daniel Cook and Giovanni and Gabriella Agosto; and many nieces and nephews including Thomas Randall and Dallas Bisnett, who were especially close to Phyllis.

She was predeceased by her husband of 59 years, Norman, in 2019; her sister Frances (Pat) Bisnett and her mother, Nora Tarrant (Ralston).

We will all miss her.

At the request of the family, memorial events will be private.

In Phyllis’ memory, in lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made to the Roswell P. Flower Memorial Library at

Arrangements are with the Reed & Benoit Funeral Home.

Online condolences may be made at