Phyllis Robertson, Longtime Navigator, Goes Home

After a lifetime of devotion and service to God through The Navigators, Phyllis Robertson, 84, wife of Navigator pioneer Roy Robertson, passed away Monday, November 26, 2007, at a hospice in Fort Worth, Texas. Two of the Robertsons’ children also serve with The Navigators: Janet Lewis and her husband, Mark; and Susan Rice and her husband, David.

When they were single, both Roy and Phyllis lived and were trained in the home of The Navigators’ founder Dawson Trotman and his wife, Lila. Phyllis was Lila’s personal assistant and helped run the ministry’s Scripture memory department in the early 1940s.

Just after WWII, Phyllis was the first secretary to be assigned overseas with The Navigators, serving for three years in Europe, and later in Hong Kong.  Roy was the first Navigator overseas missionary and served in China and Japan with his first wife, Lois, who died in 1959 from an aneurysm while on the field.  Phyllis married Roy in 1960.  They returned to Asia in 1962, opening the Navigator work in Singapore and giving leadership to Navigator ministries across Asia.

In 1972 they started a work called TEL (Training Evangelistic Leadership) that trains Asians in discipleship and public evangelism. In 1986 they retired from The Navigators and continued their involvement with TEL.

Roy and Phyllis had just returned from a trip to Asia in early November. On November 24, Phyllis collapsed at home from an apparent brain hemorrhage. Her family was with her, kneeling in prayer around her bed, as she passed away two days later. “There was a powerful sense of the Lord’s presence,” says her son-in-law Mark.

Phyllis is survived by her husband, Roy, and their children: Janet Lewis, Susan Rice, Keith Robertson, Leonard Robertson, Lila Van Horn, and Lee Robertson. She had 11 grandchildren.

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