The youngest of 6 daughters, Phyllis was born to hard working, devoutly Catholic, Polish parents on January 22, 1929, in Weirton, West Virginia, She spent her growing up years learning her mother's culinary and homemaking skills and playing in the forest behind their home where she developed her love for exploration and adventure in the outdoors.
Shortly after her graduation from high school, her mother surprised her with a bus ticket to Bakersfield so she could live with her sister, Cathy Chant, and help with her young children. Upon her arrival, she also got a job at Michenor's Drive-in and enrolled at Bakersfield College. She joined the Newman Club at BC, where she met the love of her life, Ray Reischman. Married on Sept. 2, 1950 their 56 year bond produced 6 children and wonderful memories o f trips to foreign countries and travels around the United States in their recreational vehicle - their home away from home. Together they explored new places, always taking time to visit relatives and friends if they were near. They preferred God's beautiful world of nature to big cities.
Using the love for cooking learned from her mother, Phyllis was the “Candy Lady” at St. Francis School for many years, directing a profitable candy making operation for the benefit of St. Francis School and Church. Later she cooked lunch once a week for the volunteers at Golden Empire Gleaners, often with Ray as her sous chef. Phyllis valued education and returned to college when her children were grown, earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism from CSUB. Combining her academic degree with her passion for photography, she served as the Public Relations Coordinator for the Bakersfield chamber of Commerce for several years. She also shared her love for photography and journalism by teaching photography class at Garces and helping with the school yearbook for a few years. She was the leader of the St. Francis Girl Scout program for several years.
Her Catholic faith has always been a priority in her life. Phyllis was a member of St. Francis Church for almost 70 years. Most recently, she was a Eucharistic Minister. She was also a member of St. Phillip the Apostle Thursday morning bible study for many years.
Phyllis is preceded in death by her husband Ray and son David. She is survived by her children, Fabienne Esparza Regan (Mike), Fontaine Huey (Mike), Cecile Shanklin (Harlan), Philip Reischman (Julie) and Mark Reischman (Val), nine grandchildren and six great grandchildren, sister Theresa Sparks, sister- in-law Helen Haller and numerous nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, please make contributions to St. Vincent DePaul Society, Hoffmann Hospice or St. Francis Church.
Rosary will be recited at 9:30 a.m., followed by Celebration of Life at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 4, 2020, at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church.
To send flowers to Phyllis' family, please visit our floral section.