Phyllis Louise Phelps was born July 8, 1942 in Los Angeles, Calif, and was the second of three daughters of Elmo Leon Phelps and Elizabeth May Mills Phelps, who were originally from Illinois and North Carolina respectively.
Phelps, who attended Wadsworth Elementary, Foshay and Audubon middle schools, graduated from Los Angeles High School in the winter class of 1960.
During high school, she formed many life-long friendships and was a co-founder of Les Marquelles Charity and Social Club. With her social club and her sisters Pat and Linda, Phyllis threw many wonderful parties, and that became a tradition which continued throughout her life.
After high school, she pursued higher education at California State University at Los Angeles. She accepted her first job with Occidental Life Insurance Company and stayed with them five years until she left to explore other possibilities with Los Angeles County.
She worked there more than 36 years.
Starting out in the Sheriff’s Department, Phelps moved on to the Department of Public Social Services to become an eligibility worker. She was given many special assignments and soon promoted to supervisor. By the end of her career, Phelps had reached the level of deputy district director.
While with the county, she was also able to continue her charitable works of coordinating many charitable giving campaigns.
She also earned her real estate sales license in 1974, and found it to be one of her passions. She worked with Mar-Ker Properties, Century 21 Rayshire Ladera, and most recently, with Realty Executives Westside. She maintained her license until her death and nurtured a special love for researching and looking at properties and helping people find new homes.
Phelps also had an extremely active extracurricular life that included traveling on cruises, to Las Vegas and as well as cross-country jaunts and trips to Mexico; attending tennis matches; league bowling; and card playing. She played Bid Whist and spades every Friday for years. Scrabble was another family favorite and she never failed to get up and dance at parties, if she had the chance.
Some might say Phyllis’ proudest achievement was raising her daughter, Keisha, with whom she enjoyed a very close relationship. Known an extremely loving, generous and deeply caring woman who reached out and touched many people in her lifetime, Phelps was also very spirited and known for saying what was on her mind.
She is survived by her daughter Keisha Payne; sisters Patricia Jones and Linda Walker; brother-in-law Daniel Jones; nephews Dale Roberts and Michael Walker; nieces Robin Boyd and Nicole Walker; great-nieces Kira Jones, Mia Roberts and Morgan Boyd and many cousins, relatives, and a host of friends.