Phyliss Ann Nelson


Phyliss Ann Nelson, 77, of Westport, Washington, passed away on June 29, 2012, after a courageous four-year battle with pancreatic cancer.

Known for her love of stylish clothes, fast cars and big dogs, Ms. Nelson was most proud of her two sons - Rodney Allen Nyhus, a king crab fisherman in Alaska who preceded Ms. Nelson in death in 1981, and Roger Fay Nyhus, a successful public relations agency owner in Seattle.

A lifelong Westport resident, Ms. Nelson loved the beach, especially the ocean. She could never be far from the water. She also loved sports cars and was often seen driving around town in her shiny black Porsche 944. Fiercely independent, she was married four times.

One of her favorite highlights living in Westport was when Gov. Gary Locke made a surprise visit to her home. Her son Roger was the governor’s communications director at the time.

Born in Aberdeen, Washington, to Fay and Hilda Cowles, she was the sole daughter in a hard-working family with three brothers, all fishermen - Lornie, who was lost at sea in 1968, Ronnie and Richard.

Ms. Nelson was a graduate of Ocosta High School, where she was a cheerleader. Early in her life, she worked at The Daily World in Aberdeen and at a Hollywood, Calif., newspaper society page. She spent much of her life as a homemaker. In the 1970s, she was the City of Westport’s court clerk.

She loved her family above all else. She is survived by her son, Roger Nyhus and his fiancé, Rod Hearne of Seattle; her brother and sister-in-law, Ronnie and Liisa Cowles of Westport; and her brother and sister-in-law, Richard and Jacki Cowles of Arlington, Wash.

Friends and family are invited to a graveside service at noon on Saturday, July 21, at Fern Hill Cemetery in Aberdeen and a memorial reception following at 1:30 p.m. at McCausland Hall at the Westport Maritime Museum in Westport.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Westport Maritime Museum or American Cancer Society.