Phyllis Irene Challis

Born: Wed., Jun. 13, 1928
Died: Sat., Jul. 3, 2010

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Phyllis Irene Kingsley Challis - a resident of Pendleton died on Saturday, July 3, 2010 at St. Anthony Hospital. She was 82 years old. A Memorial Service for Mrs. Challis will be held at 11:00 AM on Saturday, July 31, 2010 at Burns Mortuary in Pendleton. A gathering will follow the service at the Pendleton Eagles Lodge. Sign the online guestbook at Burns Mortuary of Pendleton is in charge of arrangements. Phyllis was born on June 13, 1928 in Miller, South Dakota to Lawrence and Ella Kingsley. The family moved to Walla Walla, Washington, in 1938, amid the "northern migration" during The Great Depression. The poverty and struggle of those years were the touchstone memories of her whole life. She graduated from WA-HI in 1946. In 1947 she married Leighton Fields. From that union a son, Michael Fields, of Pendleton, OR, was born. Leighton Fields died in a car accident in 1950. In 1953 Phyllis was married to Eldon Jordon. From that marriage a daughter, Debra Jordon Preston of Oregon City, OR, was born, and they later divorced. In 1957 she married Eugene Challis. From that union a son, Robert Challis of Umatilla, OR, was born. That marriage later ended in divorce. Phyllis had been a hard worker all of her life. From the depression years, the gleaning of agricultural leftovers taught Phyllis how to can and preserve all of the vegetables and fruits of the local area. She was a master at canning; tomatoes, peas, pickles, peaches, pears and cherries. Until the time her children left home, the canning room was a great source of pride for her. From the depression and into the war years, Phyllis learned how to weave. She worked at the Pendleton Woolen Mills for thirteen years. She then worked at the Bon Marche as a sales clerk, where she met her lifelong friend Alma Comstock. She then worked as the bartender at The Pendleton Eagles Lodge, from which she later retired. She was a 43 year member of the Eagles Lodge, and Past Madam President of the Women's Auxiliary. She had been very active in the PTA, Camp Fire USA, and the Camp Fire Girls junior organization the Blue Birds. Mrs. Challis is survived by her children; Michael Fields of Pendleton, OR, Debra Jordon Preston of Oregon City, OR, and Robert Challis of Umatilla, OR, her brother Donald Kingsley of Milton-Freewater, OR, and her many friends. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Leighton Fields, and a brother Robert Kingsley.

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Sherry McCann
   Posted Mon August 02, 2010
Mike, I am so sorry about your mother. I still take the Pendleton paper, even though I no longer live in Pendleton. And just read about her passing. I know it's a terrible time for you and Bobby, and your sister. My thoughts are with you Love, Sherry Fields McCann

Shawna Murr Weiss
   Posted Thu July 11, 2013
Dear Debbie and bobby,

I have many fond memories of your mother and her friendship to my family, but especially to my mother. She was a very selfless person and always willing to help in any way she could. I remember staying with her a few times and she always imparted a sense of earthiness in her influence on me. I remember her making jam in her kitchen and showing how to do it. On another occasion she allowed me to use her "Bon Marche" discount to purchase a most beloved china teapot for my mother for Christmas when I was 13 years old. I still have it!!!! I remember her with great fondness.

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