Family tributes to ex-furniture store boss Phyllis

Phyllis Harmer
Phyllis Harmer

A BUSINESSWOMAN who ran a popular Eastbourne furniture store has died at the age of 99 and a celebration of her life has been held in Alfriston.

Phyllis Harmer ran Harmer’s of Eastbourne in Terminus Road between 1960 and 1984.

She and her husband George started the business but when Phyllis was widowed in 1972 she continued the business and didn’t retire until 1984 when she was 72. She then enjoyed travelling the world.

Phyllis had two daughters, Joanne Stoner and Jane Smith, and the family expanded to include two granddaughters and four great-grandchildren.

Daughter Joanne said, “She loved spending time with the family and was very family orientated.”

Phyllis’ hard-working attitude and business mind continued in her daughters who ran Pembury Hairstylists in Langney for many years.

The sisters started the business when their father died in 1972 and Joanne retired in 2010.

Joanne paid tribute to her mother and said, “She had a really fulfilled life, keeping her mind occupied with all the goings on in the world.

“She was a mine of information, especially about the war days as the site of Harmer’s had taken a direct hit along with many other buildings in Terminus Road.

“The last week of her life was spent in Eastbourne DGH when she was asked how old she was and she replied ‘too old’ – at 99, she never lost her sense of humour. She was a well loved and respected lady by all who knew her.”

Her funeral and celebration of her life was held recently at the Alfriston United Reformed Church.