Cover photo for Phyllis "Mimi" DeSarno's Obituary
Phyllis "Mimi" DeSarno Profile Photo
1942 Phyllis 2021

Phyllis "Mimi" DeSarno

November 16, 1942 — December 15, 2021

Phyllis “Mimi” Elaine DeSarno

Age 79 passed away peacefully in the presence of her caring husband and oldest granddaughter early in the afternoon on Tuesday, December 14, 2021 at Schuyler Hospital in Montour Falls, NY. Phyllis was born to Florence E. Decker and George S. Maltby in Sayre, PA on Nov 16, 1942.

She was a strong, dignified and kind-hearted woman. Her grandchildren called her ‘Mimi,’ which was very fitting for our beloved Phyllis. Mimi is a woman who was able to stand tall without augmentation, inquisitive in the face of authority figures, yet tactful, insightful, and a product of her own unconditional love and determination.

She always had a way of solving anything and everything. Her entire being was and still is dedicated to educating others, organizing & orchestrating beautiful events. She did what was impossible in an age where womens’ experiences were still very much oppressed and considered to be insignificant. Her voice and opinions challenged and inspired others to make a difference in their lives and the lives of many others. She worked alongside some influential professors of the Arts, Science and Histories as a Department Secretary at California State Northridge from 1967 - 1971 with her husband Buzz.

Drawn towards seismology and cultural anthropology, her coworkers and the students were always grateful for her work ethic and bright, humorous, yet highly intellectual and progressive personality. She managed to organize and operate almost everything that could be. She made imprints on the hearts and minds of every single person she came across regardless of age, race, or orientation as she traveled alongside her hubby state by state; Never missing a beat. She lived a long, eventful life with a tendency to view the world through the kaleidoscope-colored lenses of her youth.

Phyllis absolutely adored the holidays, early on she organized events for Odessa-Montour and Watkins Glen to celebrate ‘Village Christmas’ and the annual Easter egg hunts. She always had her hand in many of the parades and businesses of both locations. Her grandbabies remember the endless hours she would spend decorating the whole house for each and every holiday where we would all help cook amazing dinners, play silly pranks and watch funny holiday-themed movies together. We will miss our old yearly traditions without her. Ordering a big batch of fresh fries while watching people carry in the shiny trout. When we would go to the Italian festival and ride the horrible nausea-inducing rides, or even the school events where she would put all the teachers in check; and smile at us proudly. That cute and cuddly redhead had the biggest and boldest personality, put the fear of God and awe into the likes of any young Bambi that tried to step to her flock. She taught us how to confront, dismantle and reconstruct someone's whole being in a matter of a second. She taught us how to speak with light-hearted, sarcastic; yet firm energies; which has helped us through the many battles of our lives. We definitely have our own humorous language as a family by now! The funniest person we all knew, will always be Phyllis DeSarno.

Phyllis is survived by her kind and attentive husband of 57 years Bill “Buzzy” DeSarno; her loving brother David, her daughter Aalia and son-in-law Kemwa (our step-dad, we call him dad) and her three favorite grandbabies, Mahraka “Zak”, Culture and Nambdi; all of which she loved more than life itself. She was and remains a ‘different breed’, a one-of-a-kind patient, witty and loving soul. Her ashes will travel alongside her close family members to be scattered all around the beautiful, yet bittersweet Earth to let her soul see what her eyes did not; free and unattached from her human vessel.

A celebration of her life will be held at a later date. Those wishing to share a memory of Phyllis may visit her obituary at www. Arrangements with Royce-Chedzoy Funeral Home.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Phyllis "Mimi" DeSarno, please visit our flower store.


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