In Memory of Phyllis Ruffcorn Larzelere
Phyllis Ruffcorn Larzelere passed onto her eternal life five years ago on September 14, 2007, at the age of 83, after a happy, active and spiritual life.
Phyllis was born on July 3, 1924 in eastern Montana to a teacher and a wheat farmer. She was the middle child with an older brother and a younger sister who suffered from Polio. Phyllis took on many of the household duties to help her mother who had to take care of the younger sister, Joyce.
After her family temporarily moved to Los Angeles for Joyce’s treatment, Phyllis started attending USC. She took part-time office work with the sociology department to help pay her tuition. During her time at USC, her fellow founding members of the newly formed Alpha Phi sorority elected her as their first national president. She met her future husband, Richard Larzelere, at USC and they were married in 1947.
In 1951, Phyllis and Richard moved to the end of the Balboa peninsula and later to Lido Isle. They had two children while living in Balboa. She supported Richard’s successful efforts to start a new business. Richard, the president of a prosperous local business, later said “I could never have done it without her.” They were divorced after 22 years but remained friendly until Richard’s passing in 2001.
For many years, she was active at Christ Church by the Sea, the Alpha Phi sorority, Lido Isle Women’s Club and had many friends. She traveled often in the 1980s.
Towards the end of her life, Phyllis stayed busy with family, friends, Alpha Phi, spiritual teachings and swimming. She enjoyed living at Regent’s Point in Irvine for her last five years. She passed peacefully in her sleep after an active day of swimming, shopping and lunch with her son.
She is survived by her daughter, Diane Larzelere, and son, Robert Larzelere, and his family, including wife, Robin and two grandsons, Brian and Raymond.
On this fifth anniversary of her passing, she is still missed and thought of every day.