Phyllis Marguerite Ryan Pearce
Phyllis passed away peacefully on July 29, 2016. She was the daughter of James Herbert Ryan and Esther Regina (Rosin) Ryan of Gresham, Oregon. Born on September 30 1925, in Portland, Oregon, she was proud to be a descendant of one of the earliest pioneer families in Oregon Territory (4th generation). She graduated from Salem High School in 1943, attended the University of Oregon, and later Willamette University in Salem.
In 1947 she married Richard Franklin Pearce (deceased 1986), and they moved from Oregon to the Bay Area of Northern California where both of their daughters were born. With the exception of a 9 month period in Twin Falls, Idaho, the Pearce family lived in various parts of California due to the many transfers from Sears Roebuck, her husband's employer. In 1958 they moved to Fresno, CA where Phyllis returned to college at Fresno City College and then Fresno State where she earned her BA in 1963.
From Fresno, the family moved to Fullerton where Phyllis continued her education at Cal State Fullerton earning a Master's Degree in History, a Junior College Teaching Credential and a Supervisor Credential. Her professional career began in 1966 at Rio Hondo Jr. College in Whittier, where she taught U.S. history and Political Science. After 13 years of teaching she became Assistant Dean of the Business Department and retired after 22 years to pursue her life long dream to travel.
Never one to be idle, Phyllis delved into local history projects in the Whittier area, writing a book about early Whittier and its founding families. She used her history training to do genealogy in various countries as well as the United States and wrote books on her family history. In addition she joined family history organizations including Mayflower Society, Daughters of the American Revolution (San Antonio Chapter), and Sons and Daughters of the Oregon Pioneers.
Phyllis believed it was important to be part of any community in which she lived. Upon moving to Upland she joined AAUW, Uplanders, the Upland Women's Club, and several bridge groups. She also volunteered countless hours organizing Upland History at the Upland Public Library. She was an avid gardener into her late 80's. She was always well informed politically and kept abreast of current affairs locally and worldwide. She loved the challenge of crossword puzzles which she did with a pen. Phyllis was a loyal and lifelong fan of the LA Dodgers. She had a regal, commanding presence, sharp wit, and gracious way about her.
Those who were fortunate to have her as a part of their lives will greatly miss her generous philanthropy and warmhearted hospitality. She was an accomplished and intelligent woman who loved her family beyond measure. They were also a great source of pride to her and she closely followed their activities. Her family will celebrate her life privately.
She is survived by: daughters Kelly Anne Pearce Bocanegra (Manuel) of Rancho Cucamonga, CA, Ryan Jaye Pearce Wiley (Roger) of McAlester, OK, grandchildren Diego Bocanegra (Kellie), Carlos Bocanegra (Lita), Adam Wiley (Crystal), and Carmen Wiley.
For those of you who want to honor Phyllis in some way, please consider a donation to one of the organizations mentioned or one of your choice.
Published in Daily Bulletin on Aug. 6, 2016.