Phyllis LaVelle O’Brien
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November 29, 1950 – November 12, 2020
Moses Lake, Washington
Phyllis was born in Yakima, WA on November 29, 1950 to Rev and Mrs. Loy T. Pate Sr. She was a surprise package for her parents, who being an older couple, did not know she was coming.
Phyllis attended schools in Wenatchee and Moses Lake, WA, graduating from Moses Lake High School in 1969. She furthered her education at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, WA. She graduated from Central in 1973 with a Bachelor of Arts in Education degree with a major in English, and with minors in music and psychology. She wanted to major in music but was discouraged from doing so by the college because in those days, lady music teachers for secondary schools were not being hired. The reason they gave was that the school wanted men to lead the marching bands at football games and parades. This was a great disappointment for Phyllis, but she followed their advice and took English as her major.
Phyllis was hired on with the Moses Lake and Warden school districts as a substitute teacher as the job market had no openings for full time. She also subbed at Pasco High School for a brief time.
After a rather disappointing time as a substitute teacher, Phyllis was offered a job at her parents dry-cleaning shop, which she gladly accepted. She worked with them until her dad passed away suddenly in 1981. She then sold the business and stayed at home with her ailing mother, being her caregiver. After her mother passed away, she worked briefly at a restaurant and K-Mart store. In 1989, she became disabled due to physical and emotional problems.
Phyllis met the love of her life David O’Brien on July 2, 2009. They fell in love and were married on July 17, 2010 in a beautiful garden wedding ceremony in Moses Lake at the Intimate Gardens venue. She was extremely happy being married to David, having waited for him her entire life. She called herself a “late bloomer” – married at 59 years old.
Phyllis studied the piano for 10 years. She took eight years of lessons in Moses Lake and two years private tutelage with a college professor in Ellensburg. She taught music lessons privately for a time, having 19 students at one point.
She began playing for many types of events in her life, including many church services, weddings, holiday parties, fashion shows, and funeral services. Phyllis loved to play the piano for retirement and nursing homes. She played for many homes in Moses Lake on a regular basis as well as Quincy, Warden, Soap Lake, and Wenatchee on occasion.
Phyllis became a born-again believer on November 8, 1959 at a revival meeting in Everett, WA. She loved the Lord and wanted His light to shine in her life and through her music. She was a member of the Peninsula Community Church and the Moses Lake Assembly of God Church.
Phyllis is survived by her beloved husband David O’Brien (Moses Lake, WA); nieces Pamela Gregerson (Walla Walla, WA), Judy Hurst (Milwaukie, OR); nephew Michael Pate (Enumclaw, WA); and numerous great nieces and nephews. Phyllis was preceded in death by her parents Rev. and Mrs. Loy Pate Sr; brother Loy T. Pate Jr.; and sister Betty Hurst.
The above memoriam was written by Phyllis herself. You are invited to visit Phyllis’ Online Tribute page at www.HeritageMemorialChapel.com to write a condolence and/or memory of how Phyllis touched your life. Arrangements are in the care of Heritage Memorial Chapel, East Wenatchee.