Published in the January 17, 2018 edition

WAKEFIELD — Former Selectman Phyllis Hull, a community advocate with a conservative view of how municipal funds should be spent, died yesterday at Lahey Clinic in Burlington from injuries suffered in a recent fall at her Indian Hill Road home.

The energetic Hull lost more than she won when seeking elected office over the years, but that certainly did not dull her desire to serve the public. In fact, she was one of the first candidates to take out nomination papers for election to the Board of Selectmen this April, after she was defeated for reelection last spring.


For over 30 years she was a visible and vocal community activist who made significant contributions to Wakefield. She was a past chairman and secretary of the Taxpayers Association of Wakefield and Wakefieldians Opposed to Excessive Spending, two organizations that fought raising taxes in town.

In 1993 she served on the search committee for a high school principal. In 1999 she was appointed by the Board of Selectmen to the Capital Planning Committee and served on that influential body for seven years.

Hull also served on a search committee for a new superintendent of schools in 2002.

Phyllis helped bring a charter to Wakefield; with this came the opportunity for residents to support referendum questions. She was elected by the townspeople to serve as a member of the committee forming the charter and was appointed vice chairperson. Phyllis was also responsible or the codification of the town bylaws.

Phyllis fought long and hard toward retaining the principles of Proposition 2 1/2 — three times stopping the town from assessing about $40 million in real estate taxes and personal property taxes on the citizens of Wakefield while still maintaining essential town services.

As a member of the Board of Selectmen for two full terms and a nine-month long interim term, Phyllis was proud to point out that she turned the “Other” segment of board meetings into a showcase for questions and concerns brought to her by residents on a daily basis. No issue or concern was too small to bring to Board of Selectmen meetings for clarification or resolution.

She was the chairman of the World War II Memorial Restoration Committee that was formed as a direct result of Phyllis being approached by veterans who expressed concern about the deplorable condition of the World War II Memorial on what was then called the Upper Common. The veterans asked for Phyllis’ help and got it. She was given the selectmen’s blessing to chair a committee to either repair or replace the memorial. Phyllis worked hard and tirelessly for over 3 1/2 years to give the town a now beautiful granite memorial “To Honor Wakefield’s World War II Veterans” and the “Walk of Remembrance” which honors all veterans.

She liked to say that this was accomplished by “fund raising only and the generosity and time of some many wonderful people and businesses in the town. No taxpayer financing was used” to create the veterans’ mouments on what is now referred to as the Veterans Memorial Common.

In a statement leading up to the July 2016 special election to fill a vacancy on the Board of Selectmen — which she would eventually win — Phyllis wrote that her “philosophy as a resident of Wakefield has always been to advocate for anyone who lives in and wants to remain living in Wakefield whether they are retirees, average income earners, single parents and especially senior citizens on fixed incomes who want to stay in their homes.”

There is a funeral Mass scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday at St. Florence Church.