Obituary: Phyllis Ann Clifton |

Obituary: Phyllis Ann Clifton

September 16, 1940 – February 9, 2014

Phyllis Ann Clifton, a resident of South Lake Tahoe, California, passed away from this life on Feb. 9, 2014. Phyllis was born on Sept. 16, 1940, in Modesto, Calif., daughter of Annabelle and Ernest Farrell.

When she was 8 years old, Phyllis moved from Hickman to Portola Valley. As a teenager she attended Menlo-Atherton High School; and later studied to become a dental hygienist at the College of San Mateo, where she received an Associate of Arts Degree.

Phyllis wed Lester Clifton in 1960. In 1967, and with two young sons, the family moved from Palo Alto to South Lake Tahoe. For more than three decades Phyllis worked as a certified medical assistant, and was a respected and well-known member of the local healthcare community.

In 1983, Phyllis was elected for the first of two terms as state president of the Nevada Association of Medical Assistants. For years she had been an active member at both the local and state level of the organization, serving in all offices at the local level, and Trustee, Secretary, Vice President and President-Elect at the state level.

In addition to an accomplished professional career, Phyllis made time to support her family, including volunteering for several Little League seasons to keep score at games and operate the popular snack shack. For more than 50 years she was also active with Beta Sigma Phi, an international women’s social, cultural and service organization.

In 2007, Phyllis joined Soroptimist International of Sierra Tahoe, and was particularly supportive of the organization’s programs that helped children in need.

Phyllis loved to travel, enjoying trips to Mexico and Tahiti with Les, and camping and road trips exploring America’s many wonders with her family. She and George enjoyed European river cruises and annual excursions to Hawaii. An active, outdoor enthusiast, Phyllis enjoyed hiking, bicycling, and playing golf; and she was also an avid reader. She was quite proud of each of her grandchildren, and loved to attend their school plays and programs.

A fun-loving woman with a great sense of humor, and flair for retelling stories, Phyllis was ever the social “butterfly” and enjoyed attending parties and celebrating milestones with her friends and family. She was also a gracious and easy-going hostess, and kept an ‘open door’ for the many friends and family that visited her home.

Phyllis is survived by a loving family: son Chris and daughter-in-law Leigh Ann, grandchildren James, Daniel and Sienna; son Brent and grandchildren Monique, Brittany and Neil; loving companion George Perusits; brothers Ron Farrell and his wife Xylina, Patrick Farrell and his wife Betty, John Farrell and his wife Ila; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins. She was predeceased by loving husband of 39 years, Lester, in 1999.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in honor of Phyllis Clifton to the Student Scholarship Fund of Soroptimist International of Tahoe Sierra (

A public Celebration of Life is planned for Saturday, February 22, 2:00pm at the Lake Tahoe Community Presbyterian Church, 2733 Lake Tahoe Blvd.

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