Phyllis M Rees

Died: Mon., May 8, 2017


4:00 PM to 6:00 PM, Thu., May 11, 2017
Location: Burns Mortuary

Memorial Service

10:30 AM Sat., May 27, 2017
Location: Burns Mortuary

Print Obituary   Home Page All Obituaries


Phyllis Marie Schulz Rees was born on May 16, 1939 in Parsons, Kansas, the fourth child of Edmund and Hilda Schulz. She died unexpectedly May 8, 2017, at age 77. After the arrival of Phyllis’ younger brother, the Schulz family headed west to seek better prospects after the Great Depression, as many other families did. Phyllis remembered well the ride to the Northwest in the back of her father’s truck with her siblings. After living in the Yakima area and La Grande, the family finally settled in Echo where Phyllis graduated high school. She went on to attend Concordia University and became a teacher like her three brothers. Her first teaching position took her to Orange, California, where she eventually reconnected with Echo classmate Henry Rees. The two were married and had a son and two daughters while making Orange County their home. They maintained their Oregon roots with regular extended trips to the Pendleton area to visit family. Following a divorce and her son’s graduation from high school, Phyllis relocated to Pendleton to take over her parent’s business so they could retire. As the owner of the Fourth Street Speedwash Laundry, Phyllis had the flexibility to raise her daughters as a single parent. It was important to her to be there when her kids came home after school, especially during the teenage years. Phyllis was very proud to carry on the business that her parents had started, and she enjoyed visiting with her regular customers. She was also pleased to see the legacy continued when her youngest daughter bought the laundry upon her retirement. Outside of managing her business seven days a week, Phyllis enjoyed gardening. Her green thumb was evident in her beautiful African violets and backyard blooms. She was also a skilled seamstress, sewing matching outfits for her young daughters and sewing the quintessential ‘80s prom dress for one daughter then turning it into a bridesmaid’s dress for the other daughter’s wedding. The real love of Phyllis’ life was her grandchildren. She doted on her two grandsons in Pendleton and traveled to Austin, Texas to visit two more grandsons and her granddaughter as often as possible. There were many school events, band concerts, sleepovers and games in grandma’s large backyard. Phyllis is survived by her children, Lonny Rees of Salem, Lauri Sauer (Dan) of Salem and Karen Shodin (Carl) of Pendleton. Her cherished grandchildren Adam Shodin, Christopher Shodin (Amanda) and their two daughters Alex and Bella; Justin Rees (Liz), Matthew Rees, Amanda Rees and her great-grandchild Amanda’s son, Aiden. She will also be greatly missed by her siblings LeRoy Schulz (Doris) of San Dimas, California, Dorothy Ulrich of Pilot Rock, Dennis Schulz of Irvine, California and Verlyn Schulz (Jan) of Hermiston, and by many nieces and nephews. Viewing will be Thursday, May 11 from 4 to 6 p.m. and Friday, May 12 from 9 to 11 a.m. at Burns Mortuary. A memorial service will be held Saturday May 27th at 10:30 a.m. in the chapel at Burns Mortuary. Interment will be private.

The family is very grateful for the care provided by the staff at Juniper House. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Alzheimer’s Association at to memorialize our beloved mother.

Click to send flowers using our local area florist
Free delivery to our funeral home & save on wire fees
View/Sign the Condolence Book

Click the button to generate a printable document containing all condolences submitted

Condolence Booklet

Copyright © 2018 Burns Mortuary of Pendleton. All Rights Reserved.    | Website by CFS |