Phyllis Jean Roach Austin died peacefully on April 11, 2014 at the age of 89. Phyllis was born on July 8, 1924 and her parents Buford Roach Sr. and Emiliènne (Peggy) Préaux Roach were gifted musicians. Phyllis grew up in Eugene, Oregon. She majored in Fine Arts at the University of Oregon where she was a member of the Chi Omega sorority.
Phyllis met her husband, Norman, at a USO dance while he was in the Army. After World War II, they were married in Eugene. When Norman finished his master’s degree at Stanford University, they lived in California where their daughters, Melissa and Suzanne were born. In 1960, the family lived in Roskilde, Denmark, meeting life-long friends, Jens and Bente Lebech. Upon returning, Phyllis and Norman built their home in Los Altos Hills where they lived for 50 years.
An accomplished artist, Phyllis painted landscapes of California hillsides and seashores, still lifes, and portraits. She was a member of the Palo Alto Art Club. Phyllis translated her unique ability to combine colors and fabrics into a successful interior design business.
In addition to volunteering at the Allied Arts Club, she served as President of the Stanford Mother’s Club, and was active in the Peninsula Volunteers. She was a marvelous cook and loved to entertain at home. Phyllis adored traveling. Together, she and Norman toured the world on more than a dozen trips with the Stanford Alumni Association and Chalone Winery.
Phyllis is survived by her husband, Norman A. Austin of Los Altos Hills, her brother Buford I. Roach of Eugene, her daughters Dr. Melissa A. Austin of Seattle and Dr. Suzanne M. Austin of Los Gatos, and her nephew Dr. Christopher Roach of San Francisco. A mass and reception will be held at St. Nicholas Catholic Church in Los Altos, located at 473 Lincoln Avenue, on Wednesday, April 23, 11:00 am. Memorial donations may be made to Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health, 400 Hamilton Ave, Suite 340, Palo Alto, CA 94301.