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Phyllis Louis (Brooks) Sears

November 01, 1920-October 16, 2012


Mom passed away and joined her mother, father, brother Bud, and sister Betty on Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2012 just two weeks and two days short of her 92nd birthday. Phyllis was the first child of five born to Perry H. Brooks and Ella (Swayze) Brooks on the Colville Indian Reservation in Washington state. She graduated a straight A+ student from Nespelem High School as their Valedictorian. She married Jay B. Webley in 1939, and they had a son Roy A. Webley and a daughter Lynda H. Webley (Pennington). Shortly after starting her family she began working for the Pacific Northwest Bell Telephone Company. Her uncanny memory for numbers was a great asset while working for the phone company. After several years at the Coulee Dam, WA office and a divorce from Jay, she transferred to Renton, WA. Shortly after settling into her new job, her coworkers told her she “just had” to meet an executive for the company because they knew he would be impressed by her. She did. She met an intelligent, educated, outgoing, handsome, fun loving superior, James (Yens) Harold Rivenes. Their attraction for one another grew and they were married in 1969. From this marriage she gained a stepson, Jim Rivenes and stepdaughter, Sally Rivenes (Isaksen).

Phyllis and Yens lived on American Lake near Tacoma, WA. She retired from the telephone company after 22 years of employment. Soon after Yens retired they moved to Bozeman, Montana where they resided for five years after which they moved to Electric City, WA. Their life together was one adventure after another visiting the Pacific coast, classic old hotels and inns, and finding humor in nearly everything right at their home. The two of them loved playing their harmonicas together and as shy as Phyllis was she found herself entertaining others in duet with Yens many times everywhere they went. She never lost her love nor talent for playing the harmonica. As an accomplished poet Yens dedicated much of his writings to his “Little Indian” Phyllis. She lost her best friend when Yens passed away in 1991.

She loved gardening and was a Master Gardener for the Montana State University Extension Services. She prepared many great, healthy meals from her harvest and canned the excess for delicious winter eating.

She enjoyed being involved in community activities and was a member of local organizations which included the Coulee Dam Community Hospital Auxiliary, Federated Women’s Club, Sweet Adelines, and the Ten & Forty.

She never lost her love and talent for crossword puzzles, and still may be working them.

In 1993 she married Elmer Sears calling Electric City home until their move to Richland in 2004 where she would be close to family. That marriage dissolved in 2007.

Her spicy spunkiness and humorous wit will be missed by all who knew her.

She is preceded in death by her parents Perry and Ella Brooks, brother Kenneth Brooks, sister Betty Whitelaw, ex-husband Jay B. Webley, and husband James H. Rivenes.

She is survived by son Roy Webley (Judy), daughter Lynda Pennington (Bob), sisters Elaine Sanford (Frank), Barbara Phillips, grandchildren Beth Mellick (Sean), Michael Webley (Meghan), Robyn Pennington, Bo Pennington (Kiley), great grandchildren Kylee and Emersyn Mellick, Peyton Webley, Isaac and Emilee Pennington, step great grandsons Mason and Ethan Turner, stepson James Rivenes, stepdaughter Sally Isaksen (Joe), step grandchildren Traci Sisson (Todd), Jim Rivenes (Noel), Kirsten Simons (Bob), Eric Isaksen, Ben Isaksen (Sarah), step great grandchildren Riley, Taylor, Allison, Tucker, Sloan, Beatrix, Alexander, Chelsea, Bobby, and Chris, step great-great granddaughter Charlotte, and numerous nieces and nephews.

There will be a Celebration of Life in the Grand Coulee Dam area in the spring.

Her dear little friend, Angel, (a longhaired miniature dachshund) misses her immensely. We will love and miss you forever, Mom.

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