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Phyllis Charlton


1921 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Phyllis Charlton Obituary
Phyllis Mutch Charlton

March 8, 1921 - June 6, 2018

Phyllis Mutch Charlton passed away peacefully in San Francisco at the age of 97, after a life well lived. She was the proud and inspirational mother of Carolyn Squeri, Dr. Frank Charlton, Jr., Andrea Feeney, and Corinne Charlton Barbour; the caring and much loved mother-in-law of James Squeri, Kathleen Charlton, and Thomas Feeney; the dear sister of Marilyn Mutch Hawkins; the loving grandmother of Dr. Natalie Charlton Avakian; Monica and Michaela Charlton; Matthew, Peter, and Michael Squeri; Joseph and Claire Feeney; and Jack and Renee Barbour; the cherished grandmother-in-law of J.C. Avakian, Erika Squeri, and Lindsay Squeri; and the delighted great-grandmother of John Avakian and Annika Squeri, all of whom adored her. Phyllis also leaves behind many cousins, nieces and nephews, whom she thoroughly enjoyed. She was predeceased by her devoted husband of 62 years, Dr. Francis J. Charlton, the love of her life; her parents Gertrude and William Mutch; her brother Dr. William Meyer Mutch, Jr.; and her children Adrienne and John Charlton. The family wishes to express its deepest gratitude to Margaret Fitzpatrick for helping Phyllis in so many ways.

Phyllis was a third generation native San Franciscan and lifelong resident of the city. She graduated from UC Berkeley, where she was the president of her sorority (Alpha Delta Pi) and president of the Women's History Honor Society (Sigma Kappa Alpha), and from Stanford University, where she earned her MA and General Secondary Teaching Degree and was a member of the Education Honor Society. She taught in the San Francisco public schools for four years, and for two years was the moderator and producer of a KCBS Saturday afternoon summer radio program, "Youth Looks to the Future," for which she received a Commendation from the station.

She was a member of the Town and Country Club and the League of the Sacred Heart, a founding member of the St. Francis Wood Women's League, and past president of the St. Francis Wood Garden Club. She also served on the boards of the San Francisco County Medical Society Auxiliary, St. Francis Memorial Hospital Auxiliary, and St. Francis Homes Association.

Phyllis was a human dynamo - a force of nature. Her two greatest roles were mother and teacher (all of us were her students). She took life on as it came, facing forward and always "accentuating the positive." She was unfailingly polite and gracious. Phyllis loved doing all sorts of different things, half of which had a practical purpose and half of which were done for pure pleasure.

On the practical side, she loved to garden, taking particular pride in her spectacular flowering ginger every year. She was also a financial wizard. Right up to the very end, she read two papers a day, avidly watched the nightly business reports, and was a very accomplished investor. She even wrote a manual for her family entitled, "Simple, Savvy Investing."

The list of things that Phyllis loved to do for pure pleasure is lengthy: (1) she loved playing bridge with her friends at the club and in the neighborhood; (2) she loved visits with the grandchildren and great-grandchildren; (3) she loved sitting at her piano, playing "In the Mood" and "Aloha Oe;" (4) she loved the sun - nothing beat sitting on her back deck, drinking in the sunshine; (5) she watched every Warriors' basketball game with enthusiasm, only occasionally expressing disapproval of Draymond Green's on-court behavior; (6) she loved sitting in her library, listening to the Big Band standards of Glenn Miller and Tommy Dorsey, playing her pupule sticks to Hawaiian favorites, or dancing to Elvis Presley's "Good Luck Charm;" and (7) Phyllis and Frank loved to travel, making it to five continents, and proudly orchestrating family vacations with their children and grandchildren for decades. But of all her pleasures, dancing was number one - from dancing to the Big Band sounds in downtown hotel ballrooms in the 1940's to being on the dance floor for most of every occasion with a band or DJ through the age of 96, she was born to move to the music - and she loved above all dancing (and teaching) the hula. Phyllis held an important place in the lives and hearts of her family and friends. She was an inspiration to all who knew her and will be sorely missed.

Visitation will be held on Thursday, June 14 at 6 pm with a Vigil Service at 7:00 pm at St. Cecilia Church, 17th Avenue and Vicente Street in San Francisco. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Friday, June 15 at 10:00 am at St. Cecilia.

A lifelong educator, Phyllis suggested that donations may be made to Convent of the Sacred Heart High School, 2222 Broadway, San Francisco CA 94115; St. Ignatius College Preparatory, 2001 – 37th Avenue, San Francisco CA 94116; St. Cecilia School, 660 Vicente Street, San Francisco CA 94116, or the school of your choice.

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Published in San Francisco Chronicle from June 10 to June 12, 2018
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