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Phyllis Glass

Phyllis Glass passed peacefully into the next world on February 25, 2024, at her home.

Phyllis and her husband of 59 years arrived at N.O.T.S. as newlyweds in 1948. Housing was in short supply. Their first “house” was a dorm room: bed, chest of drawers, and a chair.

Phyllis Glass

She was a small-town girl from Canon City on the eastern slope of the Colorado Rookies. Phyllis reported that when the wind blew in Ridgecrest (it blew a lot), ½ inch of sand would accumulate on the window sill. China Lake was in its infancy and there were no dining facilities available to them. They took all their meals at the Midway Café, which is still in business today.

The couple wasted no time starting their family, and their first child, David, came in 1950, then Beverly in 1953, and finally Peggy in 1957. Even as a busy wife and mother, Phyllis was involved in her community. She volunteered as a Pink Lady at Ridgecrest Community Hospital and taught Sunday school. Wednesday night was bowling night. Phyllis bowled in a league for many years. Several times, the team went to the State Championships.  In many ways, Phyllis was a typical 1950s housewife-not too physically active, and she smoked like everyone else.

Around age 52, all that changed. She decided to get healthy. First, it was a short walk/run. Then, she took an aerobics class at Cerro Coso. When her friend Jackie Bumgardner opened a health spa, “The Creation of You,” Jackie asked her to be an aerobics instructor. Jackie needed a role model for her “older” clientele. Mom was perfect in this capacity. She was enthusiastic and quite willing to do any exercise, and those traits were contagious, and the ladies all joined her. Becoming an instructor opened the door to new and more daring adventurers. She and her husband, Cecil, began taking annual backpacking trips to the Grand Canyon. The Bright Angel Trail, Indian Gardens, Kalibab, and other trails were a new world for them both. They branched out into Yosemite, Mammoth Lakes, Mount Whitney, and many other Sierra destinations. When she was 73, she climbed Mt. Whitney with her daughters Beverly and Peggy. It took three separate attempts, but they made it to the summit on August 3, 2000. The legacy of her backpacking is that all three of her children became avid backpackers, along with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

When Cecil became infirm and unable to continue the backpack adventures, Phyllis turned to cycling. On weekends, she rode thirty or even forty miles at a stretch. For her eightieth birthday, her riding buddies organized a group ride for her and 23 of her closest cycling cohorts.

Her active years ran well into her nineties, and she devoted hours to the Rademachers, engaging with nature and admiring the desert flora and fauna. She loved the owls that nest in the hills, the wildflowers, and just the wide openness of the hills there.

Of course, as always, she had friends to share these things with: Jim Portiess, Werner Huber, Jackie Bumgardner, and Carol Reeder, to name a few. Phyllis is predeceased by her husband, Cecil, her daughter, Peggy Elaine Miller, and her grandson, Jonathan Glass. She is survived by her son David (Linda), her daughter Beverly (Steve), grandson Andrew (Cassady), and his children Davis and Gibson.

She is also survived by her many nieces and one nephew who truly loved their aunt Phyllis Jean.

Additionally, it should be said here she was blessed with a team of faithful and tireless caregivers: Janine, Lori, and Linda, who gently and lovingly eased her into the great beyond, for which the family will always be eternally grateful.

Phyllis Jean was a dynamo whose kind heart was as big as her prodigious energy.

She will be missed.