Loving mother and grandmother, Phyllis Jane (Peterson) Cody, died peacefully at home January 8, 2022, after many years of a courageous struggle with failing health.
Phyllis was born to the late Hartvig and Effie Peterson, January 18, 1934, in Barhamsville, Va. She graduated from Toano High School in 1951 and married Lewis Cody in 1952 in Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, in Norge, Va. In 1956 they started a family with the birth of their son, Steve, followed in 1958 with the birth of their daughter Cheryl. Shortly afterwards, the family began two tours overseas in Okinawa (1964 – 1967) and Panama (1971 – 1975). During this period Phyllis worked in several administrative capacities supporting the Department of the Army while overseas and the Central Intelligence Agency following their return to the states.
Upon Lew’s retirement from federal service in 1979, they returned to James City County. It was then Phyllis was selected to become James City County’s first Citizens Assistance Officer and established the county’s Satellite Office located in the Emergency Operations Center in Toano in August 1979. One of the first of its kind in the state, the office provided access to most county services, alleviating the need for citizens from the upper county to travel to the county government center. For the next 20 years, until her retirement in 1999, Phyllis expanded the support the office provided. During her tenure, she developed and coordinated the Clean County Commission, served as a member of the county’s Communications staff, was the county staff representative to the Colonial Services Board as well as the first administrative officer of the Historical Commission, published the James City County Citizen’s Guide, helped sponsor Local Government Days at Lafayette High School, and served as coordinator for the county’s first Highway Beautification Program.
Phyllis had been an active member of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church serving as an officer in many capacities and more recently a member of the Open-Door Bible Study at the Williamsburg Community Chapel.
Phyllis was predeceased by her husband, Lewis, in 2005. She is survived by her son, Steven E. Cody and wife, Jayne, of Manassas, Va.; her daughter, Cheryl L. Estancona and husband, Craig, of Stafford, Va.; granddaughters, Eryn Cody Cropanese and husband Christopher, and Chelsea Estancona, and grandson, Bryan Cody, and her brother, Harvey Peterson, and wife, Meg, of Blacksburg, Va.
The family will have a private committal service. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to James City County Rescue Squad, 3135 Old Forge Rd. Toano, VA 23168 or the National Kidney Foundation, 503 Libbie Ave., Ste. 1A, Richmond, VA 23226.