Obituary: Phyllis Shircliff Mattingly of Bardstown

Phyllis Shircliff Mattingly of Bardstown died Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022, in Louisville. She was a native of Nelson County, growing up on Monk’s Road in Culvertown and treasured regular visits to the Abbey of Gethsemani.


Phyllis served in the Nelson County Clerk’s Office for 56 years and was elected as Nelson County Clerk in 1973. Her devotion to church and service were demonstrated daily in how she loved people and treated everyone with kindness and respect. Her willingness to go the extra mile for her constituents and her genuine concern for each and every citizen’s needs for assistance was legendary. Jim Brooks remembers Thanksgiving Day over 30 years ago as the day that he almost didn’t get married. “My wife and I were to be married the day after Thanksgiving and on Thanksgiving Day we realized that we did not have a marriage license. We did the only thing we could think of, and that was to call Phyllis at home.” Phyllis already had a reputation for going out of her way to help customers, and she filled out the marriage certificate at her Thanksgiving Day dinner table, clearing the way for the Brooks wedding.

She began her career in 1954, fresh out of high school as a deputy clerk. In 1970, she was appointed acting County Clerk to fill a vacancy and was then elected to her first full term in 1973. She was elected at a time when women officials were rare in Kentucky. She served with great integrity, honor and supreme honesty in all things, personal and public and will be missed by many. She was very involved in the Kentucky County Clerk’s Association and became close friends with several clerks around the state.

She had served in numerous ways in her community and St. Joseph Parish. She enjoyed helping with bereavement dinners and her weekly visits in adoration upon her retirement. She was a member of the Nelson County Democratic Women’s Club. As Janet Bradley commented “Phyllis loved approaching tourists and strangers with “What’s your name and where are you from?” She genuinely cared about people,” Janet stated, “Phyllis was to Nelson County as Andy was to Mayberry!”

Above all, Phyllis was a wonderful family person. She was dedicated to her family and to her husband, Alfred, of 47 years. She treasured her children, grandchildren, many relatives, nieces and nephews, including her devoted nephew, Kevin Miles.

The family would like to thank Windsor Gardens of Bardstown for their excellent care.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Raymond and Mary Van Thomas Shircliff; her husband, Alfred Thomas Mattingly; her dear sister and best friend, Mary Cecilia Shircliff; one brother, Stuart Shircliff; and one infant sister, Margaret Mary Shircliff.

Survivors include two daughters, Mary Cecilia Rose (Harris) of Baton Rouge, La., and Melissa Ann Kidwell (Gary) of Louisville; one son, John Raymond Mattingly (Leanne) of Hendersonville, Tenn.; and two beloved grandsons, Brent Kidwell (Abby) and Dane Kidwell.

The Mass of Christian Burial is 11 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2022, at St. Joseph Catholic Church with the Rev. Terry Bradshaw officiating. Burial is in the church cemetery.

Visitation is 2-8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2022, and 8:30-11:00 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2022, at the Houghlin-Greenwell Funeral Home with a 6 p.m. Tuesday evening prayer service.

The wearing of masks is strongly encouraged for the visitation and for the Mass.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Basilica of St. Joseph Proto-Cathedral.

The Houghlin-Greenwell Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.


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