Our beloved mother, grandmother, aunt, and friend, Phyllis Joan Seltzer passed away peacefully on March 25, 2023 at the age of 85 years old. The world will be less colorful and bright without her big beautiful presence, smile, and energy. She has left an indelible mark on the lives of all that knew her with her wit, charm, and zest for life. She was truly one of a kind.
Phyllis was born at Park East Hospital in Manhattan, New York to Pearl & Eddie Himmelstein. Some of Phyllis’s most special memories of her youth were created at the Hillside Apartments in the Bronx, with her brother and cousins, attending PS78 school, Camp Eden sleep-away camp, and summers in the Catskills. She loved everything about New York life, the restaurants, the nightclubs, and the fashion.
Phyllis was twice married. First in 1956 and adopted her daughter Elizabeth. Her second marriage was in 1963 to David Seltzer, the love of her life. David had three small children under 5. Micheal, Suzee, and Jeffrey. In 1965 they had Rebecca. At the age of 28, Phyllis had five small children and a household to run. Several years later she and her husband David moved to California with their five children. In 1979 they moved with their youngest child Rebecca to Tucson, Arizona.
Phyllis started her career as a runway model and then became a real estate agent and a broker. She and her husband David also owned Morrows Nut House Candy stores and a sports bar and restaurant called Famous Sam’s. Phyllis always had a passion for volunteering and felt that helping others gave her strength, perspective, and a great sense of purpose. Later on in life, she found creative satisfaction as a gourd artist, painter, and writer. She was a National Finalist with the Poetry Guild, has been a member of the International Poets Society, and has published several newspaper contributions along with her book, “Living my Dash”.
Phyllis and her husband David were world travelers, spent their summers in California to be with their children and grandchildren, loved to hit the slots in Vegas, to see a show, and go to the buffets. Phyllis had a wonderful group of friends of all ages and backgrounds. It was her ability to connect with people young and old and relate to them at their level that made her special, unique and so memorable.
Phyllis will be remembered by her daughter Rebecca Basford (Jeff), Suzee Lippitt (Josh), Lizee Evans, and 8 grandchildren, 3 nieces as well as numerous other family members and friends. Phyllis was predeceased by her husband David Seltzer, mother Pearl Denmark, brother Stephen Himmelstein and sons Michael and Jeffrey Seltzer.
Phyllis was loved and surrounded by her family and dearest friends in her last months of life. She was full of gratitude and love for those cherished moments and people who meant so much to her. May her memory be a blessing.
Funeral services will be at East Lawn Cemetery-graveside service
5801 E Grant Rd Tucson, AZ 85712
March 29th at 11:30 a.m.
Please join us for a Shiva Visit directly after the service at Colonia Verde Clubhouse
2700 N Camino Valle Verde, Tucson, AZ 85715
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Humane Society of the United States in Phyllis Seltzer’s honor. Phyllis spent her life rescuing dogs, and her last and final companion, Maggie Mae brought her so much joy and comfort.