Phyllis Rose Orrico
November 9, 1922 – June 10, 2019
Phyllis Rose (Jones) Orrico, 96, died peacefully June 10, 2019, at her home, surrounded by family.
In her life, she experienced a world of remarkable events and adventures. From the Roaring 20’s to the era of high technology, she witnessed some of the most dramatic changes in human history. She survived the era of Black Friday and the Great Depression, followed the news of Pearl Harbor, D-day, the fall of Berlin, the atomic bomb and the surrender of Japan. But she also watched mankind reach the moon, cure polio, and connect all the peoples of the world with a mere push of a button. From families gathered around a simple radio to hear the news of the world, to the modern world of connected mass media and self-driving cars, Phyllis enjoyed a life full of modern miracles and human advancement.
Phyllis was born in Bellingham, WA, on November 9, 1922. Her parents, Henry and Rose (Hodges) Jones, were Welsh and English immigrants, who married on Ellis Island. She was the youngest of their six children. Phyllis discovered a love of drawing at a young age, and while she participated in many activities, such as swimming, and snow skiing, her ambition was to be an artist.
Phyllis graduated from Bellingham High School, Class of 1941. She was an honor student and commencement speaker at her graduation ceremony. She went on to cultivate her artistic skills at Cornish Art School, in Seattle. During World War II, Phyllis served with the U.S. Naval Reserve as a member of the WAVES. In 1944, Phyllis met her future husband, Frank Anthony Orrico, while he was attending the University of Washington.
Frank and Phyllis were married August 10, 1948, at the Church of the Blessed Sacrament, in Seattle. In 1957, they moved to the Clyde Hill neighborhood of Bellevue. In 1968, they moved to the home on Yarrow Point that would become a center of the family’s life. Located on Lake Washington, they hosted the annual summer picnic for Frank’s large Italian family, birthday celebrations, and many days of swimming and boating. Their home was the perfect place for their ever-growing family to share holidays, particularly Phyllis’s favorite, Christmas.
She and Frank filled their lives with adventure. Their passports were filled with exotic stamps, from Portugal, to Hong Kong. Winters were spent in the sunshine of Palm Springs, golfing and socializing. During the summer months they would live aboard their yacht, usually moored at the Roche Harbor Resort, and explore the waterways of the Pacific Northwest. Roche Harbor continues to be a special place for her children and their families.
In addition to raising six children, Phyllis volunteered at Sacred Heart catholic church on Clyde Hill, the blood bank in Bellevue, and supported many cancer research and veteran organizations. The Phyllis R. Orrico Children’s Reading Room at the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library, a specialized public library in Seattle, will stand as representation of her generous, caring heart, and dedication to helping others. Her Foundation donated generously to Overlake Hospital and the Fred Hutchinson Research Center, and the Orrico Hall at the University of Portland bears her name.
She will be remembered as a devoted wife and the steadfast matriarch of her family, a truly gracious woman.
In addition to her parents and siblings, she was predeceased by her husband, Frank, her son Kevin, and two grandchildren. Surviving are her children, Brent, Mark, Dean, Diane, and Paul, as well as their spouses, all residing in the Seattle area; 16 grandchildren, and 17 great-grandchildren.
A Celebration of Life will be held at 4 p.m. Monday, June 17th at: THE GOLF CLUB AT NEWCASTLE 15500 Six Penny Lane Newcastle, WA 98059
The family especially wants to recognize the wonderful work of Phyllis’ caregivers, Barbara and Mona. We ask that, in lieu of flowers or gifts, donations be made to:
Employee Appreciation Fund (Memo “Orrico”) Mailed to: The Gardens at Town Square ATT: Tolstoy 933 – 111th Ave NE Bellevue, WA 98004
- Final Resting Place