Phyllis Mary (Carter) Perrine, 97, died peacefully January 24, 2018, in Seattle, Wash., with her family by her side. A local westside memorial has already taken place. An Idaho memorial will be held at 1:30pm Saturday March 17, 2018, at First Presbyterian Church, 209 5th Ave N, Twin Falls, Idaho, with graveside to follow at Sunset Memorial Park, with the Rev Phillip Price officiating.
Phyllis was preceded in death by her husband Frank L Perrine, parents Richard B and Lula S Carter, her sister Barbara Mae Carter, and her brothers R. Bert Jr, F.Wardell, and Paul E. Carter. Phyllis is survived by son David Perrine (Lynn Ogdon-Perrine) of Seattle, daughter Anne Scott (Norm) of Los Altos, Calif., grandchildren Daniel, Lisel, and Nathan Perrine, and Catherine, Carolyn, and Stuart Scott, and Jeannie Mack (John), sister-in-law Barbara Carter, numerous nieces and nephews, and extended family, all beloved. Family suggests that memorial contributions be made to Idaho Youth Ranch, PEO, Huntsman Cancer Institute, or a favorite charity.
Phyllis was born December 27, 1920, to Richard Bert (RB) Carter and Lula Selena (Jones) Carter, at the family home 1014 E. DeSmet Ave in Spokane, Washington, the middle child of five.
Her life spanned ten decades and began with a happy and love filled childhood where, after the family moved to 218 W 24th Ave in Spokane, relatives lived around the corner and groceries were delivered by horse drawn wagon. After RB died tragically in 1930, Phyllis’ mother Lula made sure all five children worked hard and made it to college despite the Great Depression, and Phyllis’ first day at Washington State College (now WSU) was September 1, 1939, the same day Germany invaded Poland to begin World War Two.
Phyllis pledged Kappa Alpha Theta and graduated from WSC with a Sociology degree in 1943. Inspired by the writings of famous sociologist Margaret Mead to travel, Phyllis instead obtained work at the Spokane Army Air Depot where she met the love of her life, a pilot named Frank Perrine (Major, USAAC) from Twin Falls, Idaho; they married on September 10, 1949. Daughter Anne and son David came along, and in 1962 the family moved to Bellevue, Washington, where Frank was a Boeing engineer and Phyllis worked in Jr and Sr High libraries for the Bellevue School District.
In 1982, Phyllis retired with Frank to the farm he’d grown up on, in Twin Falls, Idaho. Country life suited Phyllis, and after forty years living in urban Spokane and twenty years in suburban Bellevue, Phyllis lived thirty years on the farm with her giant garden full of roses, yucca, and other plantings, and yet found time to volunteer at Twin Falls Public Library, helped ESL students learn to read at Oregon Trail Elementary School, and was a Pink Lady volunteer at Magic Valley (later St Lukes) Hospital, Twin Falls, for over twenty five years. Phyllis was also a member of Kappa Alpha Theta, PEO, Daughters of the American Revolution, the Shamrock Club, Circle 5, Twin Falls Historical Society, and other organizations.
On top of all this, Phyllis was a wonderful mother and grandmother, too. From infancy to adulthood, her quiet kind love and support never quit. Whether it was going to the movies with her grandkids to see “Cowboys vs Aliens”, in 3D, “Monument Men” with favorite George Clooney, or digging into Thai food for her last birthday dinner, Phyllis was usually open to fun activities and new experiences. Life was best served with chocolate, and also some swing music, perhaps Artie Shaw, Glenn Miller, or the Dorseys, even in her hospital room during her final illness, which made life and getting older easier.
Phyllis was a lifelong learner, and had such a good memory that even three days before she died she conducted a clinic on family history in her hospital room with a group of nieces and nephews, answering all their questions and then some. She continued to take on new challenges like beginning sign language courses this past year, but was also a good teacher of life skills, from teaching children driving skills to mastering a yo-yo, and passing along her talent for baking and cooking delicious food for family and friends.
Phyllis was also strong in her Christian faith, and in following the teachings of Jesus. She was a Deacon and devoted member at First Presbyterian Church (Twin Falls), also serving as a prayer chain leader and thrift shop volunteer, and in West Seattle she attended St John the Baptist Episcopal, Westside Presbyterian, and also services at the Kenney community where she lived.
Phyllis was also a resilient person, beating four different types of cancer, and after Frank died in 2000 she remained fiercely independent, buying a new car at age eighty-eight, and staying on the farm until at ninety-three she was convinced to move to West Seattle, eventually moving to the Kenney independent living apartment where she continued to call her own shots, making wonderful friends, and enjoying life to the end. And if you’re wondering if Phyllis had a secret to her ninety-seven year longevity, she did. Nothing we don’t already know: daily exercise, moderation in all things, and perhaps a little chocolate, but what I think set her apart was trying to live by the Golden Rule, love of family and friends, a deep and abiding generosity of spirit, and faith in God to set things right. On behalf of the family, we would like to thank the Kenney for being the perfect place for Phyllis to live; Franciscan Home Health for their dedicated visiting healthcare workers; and especially the residents and staff of the Kenney for making Mom’s last years such pleasant ones.
Please share memories of Phyllis on the online guestbook at emmickfunerals.com
Arrangements Entrusted to Emmick Family Funeral & Cremation Services - West Seattle