Phyllis Jean Applebee


          Phyllis Jean Applebee (McCann) November 8, 1937 – September 10, 2022


Phyllis Jean Applebee, 84, passed away peacefully in her home of 45 years with her family by her side, having been able to say how much she loved them before she departed.  Phyllis J. Applebee is preceded in death by her parents: Kenneth J. McCann and Mary “Bunny” McCann of San Francisco, CA, and only sister Marjorie J.Gonzales (Homer) of Caldwell, ID.  She is survived by her husband  Dr. Ralph C. Applebee; daughters: Lisa Applebee of Boise, ID (Charlie) and Michele Applebee of McCall, ID (Whitey); granddaughter, Sarah L. Lenda of Boise, ID; nieces and nephew: Kim Denise Krupa (Homer), Diane Zapata (Homer) of Melba, Mark and Bibiana Gonzales of Winnemucca, NV, Sabrina Gonzales of Winnemucca and numerous great nieces and nephews. 


Phyllis was born in San Francisco, CA to Mary “Bunny” McCann “Makin” and Kenneth John McCann.  She met the love of her life and life partner, Ralph Calvin Applebee, at San Francisco City College and they were married shortly after graduating on September 17, 1960.  They moved from San Francisco to Corvallis, OR, where their two daughters, Lisa and Michele, would be born and raised.  From Corvallis, OR Ralph, Phyllis and the girls moved to Ellensburg, WA where Ralph worked on his PHD in Mathematics.  From Ellensburg, WA they moved again to Caldwell, ID where Ralph gained tenure at the College of Idaho and Phyllis worked in the C of I’s business office as the Accounts Payable clerk.  She would be lovingly named by many of the students and faculty PHYLUM (Biology reference). The College of Idaho, the faculty and students would become interweaved into the fabric of her life.  Many of her dearest friends worked as faculty and within the administration and they would have many great adventures, alpine skiing, hiking, rafting and traveling to many places around Idaho and the globe.  They would also become life long friends to Phyllis’s daughters, and granddaughter. 


When Ralph and Phyllis retired from the C of I, they continued to travel.  In all they were able to travel to approximately 20 countries worldwide.  It was always Phyllis’s dream to travel, she loved learning about different cultures and all things foreign and went every year sometimes twice a year to another country. One of her favorite countries was Iceland because of the amazing underground geothermal aquifers and New Zealand’s South Island taking a helicopter ride over Mt. Cook at 12,000 ft.  Phyllis’s last trip in 2019 before COVID shut travel down, was “The Seine” cruise from Paris to Normandy.  The only country she didn’t get to travel to was Norway to see the Fjords, it was her only disappointment. Her home is filled with art and objects of those travels.


During the COVID shut down, Phyllis utilized the time to work on her passion for her beautiful yard and Mid Century Modern home of 45 years.  Cultivating the Rose of Sharon Hibiscus tree, Lily of the Valley, Bleeding hearts and hanging out on the patio by the pool during hot summer months. She was passionate about politics and believed in democracy and the democratic process.  She was passionate and loved her family and loved her friends.  She contributed to many democratic institutions.  She loved, watched and was a patron of everything PBS.


Phyllis Jean Applebee was an amazingly strong and passionate woman and will be greatly missed by many.  At 5pm any day this year raise a beer (preferably Old Milwaukee or PBR) and toast Phyllis, “May she have the most excellent adventure on her journey to the next realm”.


The family has not yet decided on a date for a celebration of her life at this time.  In lieu of flowers please make a monetary donation to your local Public Broadcasting Station (PBS).  Please share your memories of her on