Cherry Blossoms

Phyllis L. (Dixon) DeMass

January 20, 1931 ~ March 7, 2020 (age 89)


Phyllis L. DeMass, Teacher, Miami University professor, and longtime Oxford resident passed away at the age of 89 on March 7, 2020, at Woodland Country Manor in Somerville, Ohio. Phyllis was born on January 20, 1931 to Thomas and Lily “Olive” Dixon (Henry) in Dayton, Ohio. She was preceded in death by her husband of 39 years, Rev. Robert M. DeMass, who died in October 2006. She is survived by their daughter, Suzanne Martin, and son-in-law Dale Martin, of Falls Church, Virginia, as well as grandchildren Henry and Isabelle. She is also survived by a sister, Carol Miglin, of Parlin, NJ, and numerous nieces and nephews and extended family across the country, all of whom she held dear. Two brothers preceded her in death.

Phyllis received her bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Dayton, and began her teaching career in Dayton public schools. Moving to Oxford, she received her Master’s degree from Miami University and began a teaching position at Miami’s McGuffey Laboratory School in 1959, a role she held until the Lab School closed in 1983. Following her time at McGuffey, she turned her love for students and teaching to her work as an assistant professor in Miami’s Department of Teacher Education, where she taught and supervised student teachers.  A highlight of her experience at Miami was her time supervising student teachers with husband and fellow educator Robert at Miami’s Dolibois European Center in Luxembourg in 1988, combining their shared love of teaching and travel. Following her retirement from Miami in 1994, she continued to stay active in the community and her beloved church family at the Fairhaven Community Church, which she attended since 1972. She delighted in visits or chance encounters with her former students, keeping old McGuffey yearbooks and the Lab School history book handy to refresh memories and re-tell old stories. A lifelong teacher, curious learner, and faithful Christian who touched many lives, in her later years she led a Bible study for fellow residents at Woodland Country Manor.

The visitations scheduled at the Ogle and Paul Young Funeral Home for Monday, March 23, 2020, and the second visitation and funeral service at the Fairhaven Community Church on Tuesday, March 24, have been cancelled. The graveside service will be private.

The family suggests a contribution to the Fairhaven Community Church in Phyllis’ name, or a donation to the charity of one’s choosing.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Phyllis L. (Dixon) DeMass, please visit our floral store.


Private Interment


Fairhaven Community Church
6585 Israel Somers Road, Camden OH 45311

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