Meet Phyllis – retired pilot, frequent jitterbug dancer, and current resident at Wellbrooke of Wabash. Photographed above, Phyllis has been described as “one of the sweetest, kindest ladies” of her campus, brightening the days of residents and staff alike with her personality and – as we discovered recently – her incredible eye for detail.

Like many of the amazing stories that we hear, it all starts with a soulmate.

Let’s go back. Phyllis’ husband, Kenny, was once as a renowned photographer based out of North Manchester, Indiana. He specialized in taking family portraits – capturing countless photos of parents and children smiling in their Sunday best.

There was only one problem: color photography did not yet exist to the general public. It wouldn’t for several years.

Not about to wait around for the future, Phyllis picked up a brush, said hold my pencil, and proceeded to color each of the individual portraits herself.

For thousands of families across thousands of photos, Phyllis meticulously studied eyes, clothing, hair, and skin to create portraits that would prove to be nearly indistinguishable from those found in the 21st century.

Phyllis would color each photo entirely by hand – etching the subject’s every detail into each unique portrait.

Customers were often left smiling even wider than how they were captured – much like we were when we received this story. Thank you to Michael Lauer, Life Enrichment Director at Wellbrooke of Wabash, for sharing Phyllis’ work with us – and thank you to Phyllis for making Trilogy your home. We’re honored to have artists like you with us!

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