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Saturday, May 13, 2023
Starts at 10:00 am (Pacific time)
A graveside service will be held at 10 AM on Saturday, May 13 at the Historic Union Cemetery, Pastor Dave Champness officiating. No visitation scheduled.
Phyllis was born on June 19, 1937 and passed away peacefully at her home on April 19, 2023. She was preceded in death by her parents Samuel and Nina Jean Burnett, her husband Gerald L. Towery, and grandsons Sam Towery and David Towery. She is survived by her sons Matt and wife Kassy, Greg and wife Chris, her grandchildren Alexandra and Caeden Towery, Kyle and wife Joanna Towery, Kristyn and husband Stephen Wilken and their children Stephen Jr. and Maisey, Jake, Levi and Carlie McMahon. She is also survived by her sister, Peggy Lipe as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
Phyllis was born in Tulare, California and moved to Delano where she attended local schools and worked at the local movie theater when she was 14 years old. After high school graduation she attended Bakersfield College. However, while in high school she met the love of her life Gerald (Jerry) Towery. They dated and were married in 1955. Phyllis and Jerry then moved to Bakersfield where Jerry started his career in the air-conditioning business. Within two years they started their family and Phyllis enjoyed her career of being a homemaker. She became active with the boy's school activities where she was a room mother, a Cub Scout den mother, and a PTA president, to name a few. Then in the late 1960's she was introduced to Women's Bible Study Fellowship. She became a Christian and devoted the 1970's and early 1980's to serving as a teaching leader for WBSF, a Sunday school teacher, leading several Bible studies and became a member and then president of the Christian Women's Club. When Jerry joined Rotary, Phyllis then joined the Assistance League of Bakersfield and through those organizations they developed lifelong friendships, including the friends in their monthly supper club that they so enjoyed.
Phyllis and Jerry loved to travel. In their "heyday" they explored Hawaii, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Europe. In the late 1980's they discovered a little village on the Baja Peninsula called Punta Pescadero. They traveled there several times throughout the years and they truly loved their little "paradise" on the Gulf of California. When they weren't traveling, Phyllis and Jerry spent their weekends at their mountain cabin at Slick Rock Creek on Greenhorn Mountain. It was a major part of their life until Jerry passed in 2007.
Phyllis loved their home. Remodeling it extensively throughout the years, it became their little Mexican casa. That home was Phyllis' sanctuary after Jerry died and she was there, appropriately, until the end where she took her last breath. She lived in the home for 55 years. In her failing health she often said that she was ready to see her Savior and be in the arms of Jerry once again. Throughout the years, Mom and Dad loved to dance and the song "Fly Me to the Moon" was an unofficial theme song for them, typifying their love and the romance they shared. Mom modified the lyrics "Fly me to the moon, let's dance among the stars "to suit them... and we are sure that dancing among the stars is what Mom and Dad are doing right now.
The family would like to thank Hoffmann Hospice, specifically Sarah, Taeson, and Trish for their extremely kind care to Mom and the family. In addition, we would like to make a special recognition to Phyllis' granddaughter Kristyn for all the help and care she gave to Phyllis over the last years of her life. Phyllis said that at the end that she saw Kristyn as more of a friend, than her granddaughter.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Hoffmann Hospice or the Assistance League of Bakersfield.