Phyllis Rex, also known as The Mother of Samoa, was born in Fitchburg, Massachusetts on July 13, 1944 to Albert and Mabel Gauvin. Phyllis passed away in her home where she lived for over 40 years on December 11, 2019.
Phyllis moved to San Francisco in the mid-‘60s, when she met her first husband, Charles Stack, and had three children. Phyllis and Charles lost their firstborn to due to health complications within the first month of life. Phyllis worked in a restaurant on Market Street down by the ferry buildings.
After separating from her first husband, Phyllis decided to move to McKinleyville with her two children to be closer to her mother when she met her second husband, Dale Rex. In 1978 they moved their blended family to Samoa becoming a household of six. Phyllis started a daycare in the early ‘80s and babysat numerous kids who consider her family and continued to stop in to say hello as they grew up.
Phyllis was a part of the Muster team for the Samoa Volunteer Fire Department. She loved the competitiveness of it all. She also joined the bowling league in the early ‘80s, when she met numerous friends she adored. She loved bowling and decided to join the Matchclub. Phyllis loved to travel with her bowling friends. Her favorite place was to Weaverville. Her average was anywhere from 117 to 131.
Phyllis and her best friend Christine Mason loved to go to the casino. You could find them playing bingo or the slots. She enjoyed her Friday night card nights with her girlfriends. Phyllis, Christine and her other friends were very close and considered themselves sisters. She loved her friends very much.
Phyllis was employed by Danco and maintained the Samoa Mansion and the Samoa Women’s Club for many years. She took so much pride in these places and treated them like her home. She enjoyed making sure all of her guests were happy and had what they needed to make themselves comfortable.
About two years ago, Phyllis’ heath started to fail. Her family and friends looked after her, making sure her wood was stacked, had a warm meal, and mowing her lawn. Phyllis immediate family cannot thank her Danco neighbors and friends in Samoa enough for the compassion and love you gave to Phyllis over the years. We will always be grateful.
During her lifetime she made numerous friends and no one was a stranger to her. People will remember her for the best corn chowder, being the one who kept the holiday spirits alive in Samoa, spaghetti nights, and the women in the corner house who kept all the kids in line. Phyllis may have been under five feet tall and under 100 lbs., but you know you were in trouble if you saw her walking down the road! Her contagious smile, sense of humor, her kind and selfless heart and her cute Boston accent will be deeply missed by so many.
Phyllis was preceded in death by her parents Albert and Mabel Gauvin; her firstborn, Charlie Stack; husband Dale Rex; son Roger Rex; daughter-in-law Tina Stack; and many other family members and dear friends.
She is survived by her Daughter Melissa McMillin (Lennie); son Carl Stack (Shannon); son Randy Rex (Kelly); grandkids Brandon, Taylor, and Jeri McMillin, Ricky Snider, Ervan, Ivan, Nyole Stack, and Kassie Rex; her siblings Mike Bumgarner, Corrine Cotton and Regina Hardiman; her best friend, Christine Mason; also by the Rex Family, the Stack Family, many nieces and nephews, and many friends she considered family.
Phyllis Rex’s celebration of life will be January 18, 2020 at the Samoa Women’s Club starting at 2 p.m. Please bring your favorite stories of Phyllis, as her family and friends would love to hear them.
The obituary above was submitted on behalf of Phyllis Rex’s loved ones. The Lost Coast Outpost runs obituaries of Humboldt County residents at no charge. See guidelines here.
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