Obituary

Felicity R. Backman, former Montpelier resident, teacher and pianist

Felicity ‘Flis’ Backman, age 74, of Montpelier, VT, left for Heaven on December 3rd, 2020.

Felicity, born Phyllis Rae Ganary in Camden, NJ on September 22, 1946 to Wilbur and Marie (Ramel) Ganary, grew up in Haddonfield, NJ with her siblings Lynn, Lois and Scott and her beloved cousin Nancy.

From the age of 4, she began a lifelong love affair with the piano and continued to play throughout her entire life, including many years spent with Church Worship groups and Prison Ministry.

She moved to Vermont in the early 1960s and graduated from Goddard College with a degree in Early Childhood Education, followed by a lengthy career as a Vermont teacher of preschool, middle school, and Autistic children and in Hawaii teaching and working with prison inmates and the homeless.

Felicity married Joel K. Backman in 1978 and with her first daughter Shiloh, they started a family in Montpelier, VT, with her second daughter Gabrielle and son Matthew to follow.

In 1999, Felicity and Joel moved to Kihei, Maui, HI. Gabrielle followed them a few years later and gave them a grandson, Elijah. Flis had a special relationship with her Grandson and was a daily part of his life as he grew up. More than any other place that she lived, she considered Maui to be her ‘home’, surrounded by family, good people and the ocean that she loved so much.

She loved Jesus with all of her heart and was a devout member of the Orthodox Church. She spent much of her life sharing the gospel with whoever would listen and she was confident in her faith and direction.

Flis adored her husband very much and thoroughly appreciated his patience and loving kindness as he became her primary caretaker while her health declined over the last decade. He was right by her side at the very end.

She was a piano virtuoso. A talented writer of stories and songs. She was full of love and a desire to teach. She was a nurturing Wife, Mother, Grandmother and Friend. She will be missed by many.

She is survived by her husband Joel; her children Shiloh Kepler (Esbjerg, Denmark), Gabrielle Schaible (Wailuku, Maui, HI) and Matthew Backman (Montpelier, VT); her son-in-law Eric Schaible and daughter-in-law Cheryl Backman; her grandchildren Elijah Schaible, Benjamin Backman and Emily Backman.

A private burial at Green Mount Cemetery took place shortly after her departure. A Memorial Service will follow sometime in 2021.


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