June 10, 2021
San Luis Obispo, California - On June 10 Phyllis (Van Petten) Walters passed away after a long and happy life.
Phyllis was born in Ontario, Oregon to Irene and Paul Van Petten. Her childhood was idyllic, spending summers with her family and grandparents on Payette Lake, Idaho.
Phyllis attended Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy, University of Oregon and Chouinard Art Institute. While studying in Los Angeles in 1944 Mom met a tall handsome naval officer who was studying to become a surgeon. They soon married and Mom began an exciting life that included Dad, 4 children, numerous dogs, too many ducks and several sailboats. Mom's favorite times were on the high seas spending many summer days anchored off Catalina Island when we were young. In later years they ventured to Mexico, the San Juan's and Alaska. Mom was the perfect first mate and she and Dad introduced many friends to the joy of sailing.
Mom and Dad retired to La Conner, Washington and continued to enjoy sailing in the summer and traveling to Baja every winter in their motor home. In their late 70's they decided it was time to head back to California. They settled in Los Osos to be near their children and grandchildren. For the past 11 years Mom lived at the Palms. Her large family gave her great joy. She was dearly loved.
Phyllis was a devoted Catholic, attending Nativity of Our Lady Church and her Tuesday liturgies at the Palms the past 11 years. Her faith was exhibited in her support of numerous organizations including Catholic Relief Services, The SLO Food Bank, Alpha and the ACLU. She grew with the times, expanding her horizons and never stopped reading and following history.
Phyllis was predeceased by her husband Robert (Bucky) of 65 years in 2010. She is survived by her four children, Anthony (Lisa), Margaret Mott (Hank), Rob (Ann), Tom (Judy), 12 grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren.
We are grateful to the staff at the Palms for their loving care especially during the COVID 19 pandemic. We were lucky to be able to walk with her every day during the past year, masked and socially distanced. Thank you to all who lovingly cared for Phyllis during her end-of-life journey, including Wilshire Hospice and her wonderful caregivers who stayed with us until her final day.
We are grateful for her loving presence in our lives for 96 years,
A Memorial Mass will be held at Nativity of Our Lady Church on August 11 at 11am. A private interment will follow at Old Mission Cemetery.
Published by San Luis Obispo County Tribune on Aug. 1, 2021.