Phyllis Alicenia Gookins Chaussee

PHYLLIS ALICENIA GOOKINS CHAUSSEE of Lynnwood, Washington passed away on 10-30-2013. She was born in 1943 in Tacoma, the daughter of John and Wanda (O’Flyng) Gookins and was raised in the Gig Harbor area overlooking Fox Island. She attended Peninsula High and graduated  Valedictorian and went IMG(1)on to attend WSU. There she met her life mate Monty Chaussee. They married in 1964. While finishing her Master degree at UW they were blessed with their first daughter Katie and then a few years later with their second Karin.

Phyllis dedicated her professional life to teaching and influencing elementary school children.   Over the years in the Edmonds School District, she taught most elementary grades. She remained a substitute teacher and fixture at Hilltop Elementary until the very end.  Her career lasted 48 years and she enriched the lives of thousands of students

          She had varied interests and academic quests. Her love of history, puzzles and mysteries lead the way to her pursuit in genealogy.  She published three books and volunteered as a genealogy librarian.  Phyllis loved to cook and entertain, her flower garden was a labor of love and a source pride. Traveling was particularly exciting and a joy to both she and her husband Monty.  They visited all fifty states and over seventy countries!

          Phyllis is survived by her husband Monty, daughter Katie Bristol and husband Sonny, daughter Karin and Guy Anderson, and grandsons Ryan Bristol and Max Anderson, as well as her brother Ray and his wife Joan Gookins.

         A memorial service will be held at Hilltop Elementary Gymnasium.  We choose to celebrate her at this location because Hilltop was her sanctuary, the staff was her fellowship and students were her congregation.


Memorial Celebration


November 16, 20131pm


Hilltop Elementary Gymnasium


20425 Damson Road, Lynnwood, WA 98036


Memorial donations for Edmonds School District – Memo section “In memory of Phyllis Chaussee”

20 Responses to “Phyllis Alicenia Gookins Chaussee”

  • Barbara Thomas says:

    From Sister-in-Law & Family Blessed is the Lord who calls His servant home.

  • Cheri Groves says:

    A remarkable woman to celebrate. She has left me with the thoughts of warmth, loyalty, strength, knowledge, an amazing friend and her sister, beautiful relationship with Monty, love for children, cooking, flowers, and much much more. She welcomed me into her home always as her own, family vacations just the same Phyllis; I am thankful for you and all you have accomplished. God Bless you and big loves to your family whom I know will think of you everyday!

  • Arnie and Evie says:

    We loved you very much, and will miss you.
    May God be with your family to help ease their sorrow.

  • Melinda Gallo says:

    She will be remembered by me, and my family as a cheerful,compassionate friend and colleague. An inspirational good example of enjoying your life. We will miss our lunches out and hearing about her world adventures.

  • Joan Kluck says:

    Phyllis was an amazing woman. She helped translate our German genealogy into English and helped us resolve who those ancestors were. I am so saddened by her passing as she brought sunshine to those she met. Our condolences to Monty and all the family.

  • Luba Sitkevich says:

    Devastating news. She was a kindest woman I ever met, welcoming, giving and inspiring. Will never be forgotten!

  • Kathy Hoff says:

    Phyllis and I were teaching partners and good friends! I remember the year we were teaching 4 th grade and each had 40 students. We really relied on each other for support. I still have bulbs that Phyllis gave me. Brought them to KY when we moved here. She will be greatly missed! She loved teaching and the students. So glad to have had her in my life!

  • Nicola Smith says:

    Monty and Phyllis are both in our family of Rotary. Phyllis leaves us with a memory of passion and service unlike no other. Our membership will wrap around Monty and the family in fellowship and support.

    Personally, I also embrace the dahlias in which Phyllis so carefully cultivated and shared. She will bloom in my garden through the years.

  • Diane Graham says:

    Phyllis was an inspiration. I had the pleasure to teach at Evergreen elementary with her. RIP Mrs. Chausee.

  • Carol Ellison Music says:

    I’m so sorry to hear of Phyllis’s passing. Most of my memories are from being a classmate at Peninsula High School! She was a blessing even then, always smiling and showing a positive attitude. From what I have read here, she kept those attributes her entire life. I know she will be remembered by all those whose lives she touched. Her gifts will be carried forward always. Blessings to her family and all those who loved her.

  • Jo Ellen Espelien says:

    Katie recently sent me a picture of her mom Phyllis, her son Ryan, & herself…..
    Such a wonderful 3 generation picture!
    All 3 of them, with such happy smiles in that hospital room that day!
    It is so hard to believe what happened.
    I cannot relay in words the sorrow I feel for Katie, Karin & Monty….the whole family.
    …..I will always remember her smiling happy face!
    I will cherish memories of visiting Washington & how I was welcomed as part of the family on Christmas Eve at the Chaussee’s. I will also remember how she lovingly tended to her garden, home & family.
    You just knew she was happy in her life whenever you saw her!
    I will remember her fondly.

  • JANICE MAH says:

    They say it takes a minute to find a special person, an hour to appreciate them, a day to love them, but then an entire lifetime to forget them.
    A spirit as strong as our beloved Phyllis, my cherished friend of 48 years, will never be forgotten. She had such a rich and fulfilling life, which she lived with so much grace, courage, and enthusiasm! Her determination to fight her 3 major illnesses with so much spunk and resolve was inspirational. How thankful I am that God gave me the opportunity to have such a wonderful and enduring friend, whom I shall remember and cherish for a lifetime.

  • Jennifer Moodie says:

    Mrs. Chaussee was my 5th grade teacher at Evergreen Elementary close to 30 years ago. She was an amazing teacher. My daughter who attends Hilltop Elementary was also lucky enough to have been taught by Mrs. Chaussee. She always sent home “Husky Postcard” with my daughter, with kind words of encouragement. We saved every one of them. She will be missed.

  • Allison McKenzie says:

    I will remember Phyllis as someone who pulled no punches, had a cheerful “can do” attitude, and got a big kick out of living and learning. I’m not sure I ever saw Phyllis frown, not because she was Pollyanna-ish, but because she was always so interested and engaged in whatever was going on. Our entire Chaussee family owes the knowledge of our past to Phyllis’ generosity and curiosity — she is the one who mapped out our Chaussee and Hansen lineage. I can still hear her voice describing all of the juicy details. She always had great stories.

    I will remember Phyllis as the cherished wife of my mother’s favorite cousin Monty, and part of one of the most inspiring marriages I’ve been privileged to witness. After nearly 50 years their marriage is one of those love stories that you read about but rarely behold – two people clearly happy in the company of each other, whether they were traveling around the world, spending time in the garden, or simply enjoying a beautiful day. Five decades. That’s a lot of love.

    I will remember Phyllis as the happy mother of two darling girls. She was so proud of her daughters. In a face that was always full of light, Phyllis’ face lit up even more every time she mentioned Katie and Karin.

    I will remember Phyllis for her kindness to me. Phyllis understood the sometimes challenging relationship I had with my mother and family, and went out of her way to connect with me, to share with me, and make sure I always knew how glad she was to see me. I have always appreciated that, from her and from Monty.

    Katie and Karin, my heart goes out to you. And especially to you, Monty. Your lovely, bright, joyful, luminous Phyllis will be missed by all of us.

    Love to all of you from me and Mike.

  • Tamara Collins says:

    My son, Aaron, sent this information of Phyllis’ death to me. Years ago, we spent times together, as Monty is a cousin to my ex-husband. I remember wonderful visits with them. They visited us in Boise, Idaho when we both had very young children. In recent years, my Aaron met Karin at the University of Idaho and they worked together at the Treaty Grounds. I’m so sorry and I’m so pleased to have known Phyllis. My condolences to Monty, Katie and Karin and all the family. Tammie Collins

  • Alicenia Frische Steele says:

    I never had the pleasure of meeting Phyllis in person, but she reached out to me in years past as a proud carrier of the family name Alicenia. She helped me realize how unique our name truly is. I will keep her family and friends in my prayers. I am sorry for your loss.

    Alicenia Steele

  • leon kent says:

    Monty, so sorry to hear about your loss. Sounds like you had a very special person in Phyllis. My thoughts and prayers are with your family. Leon

  • Don Wile says:

    Monty, our hearts and prayers go out to you and your family in the loss of your lovely wife, Phyllis. Carole and I previously met Phyllis years ago, and as fellow educators, we shared our love for teaching young people. From all comments, she was definitely a wonderful teacher. Unfortunately we won’t be able to be with you for her service on Saturday as we will be attending the funeral of my wife’s uncle in Montesano at the same time. May God wrap his arms around you and your family during this time of need. Don & Carole Wile

  • Christine Cole says:

    Dear Monty,
    I was saddened to learn of Phyllis’s passing. Although we have not seen one another in many years, I still hold fond memories of our college days in Pullman. You and my former husband (Bob James) were fraternity brothers at WSU. It brings a smile to recall the many fun times the four of us shared during those years. I have wonderful memories of Phyllis, the twinkle in her eyes, the sweet laughter, the kind and caring nature that was her hallmark. I am so sorry for your loss. I hold you and your family in my heart. May you be surrounded and supported by all those who love you as you move through the coming days.

  • Kris Sanderson says:

    Mrs. Chaussee was my 5th grade teacher and I am pleased and honored to say that we maintained that friendship through email and the occasional meet up for 38 years. She was one of the kindest people you could ever meet. Her smile was luminous and she always provided you with honesty and respect that made you feel good about yourself. As a bit of a hellion, she always kept me in check and this strengthened my genuine and heartfelt love of her friendship. She always spoke with great love of her family, her travels, genealogy, gardening and food. I am pleased to say that because of her inspiration, many of these are now interests of mine. She was there for me in some of my darkest times with a smile and for some of my most joyful- her laughter was infectious. We hadn’t been in touch lately but she was on my mind and I was shocked and shed many tears on hearing of her passing. While the world is a little less bright now, the heavens have acquired a bright star that will shine the way for us. Much love Mrs. Chaussee. You were and are the best teacher I ever had.

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