“The purpose of life is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” - Maya Angelou
On January 25, 2023, at the age of 96, Phyllis Dutoit entered eternal life. She lived a life of adventure, compassion, and altruism. Her legacy continues through her family and friends.
Phyllis Lucille Hutchins was born to Walter Ray and Annie Mae Hutchins on July 27, 1926, in Silver Creek, Mississippi. Phyllis grew up in Columbia, Mississippi with her parents and five siblings. When WWII began, they left for Mobile, Alabama to join the Homefront War Effort. At just 15 years old, Phyllis convinced her employer she was a year older so she could work as an electrician in a shipyard. Thus began her life of travel and adventure.
Phyllis then toured the country and world, living in Puerto Rico, Michigan, Louisiana, Texas, and Colorado. While in Houston, Texas, Phyllis met and married Duane Dutoit–her partner in music, photography, and travel for 20 years, until his death in 1977.
She was mother to four children: Wallace Dutoit (deceased), Sandy Hockin of Hawaii, Marc Dutoit (deceased), and Deborah Dutoit Stuard of Colorado; and beloved “Mimi” to six grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. She is survived by a sister, Pam Barefoot of Columbia, Mississippi.
Phyllis was best known for her caring disposition, contagious smile, and endearing Southern accent and idioms. A follower of Jesus, she devoted herself to caring for others with empathy and love. She volunteered with Meals on Wheels and served as an advocate and ombudsman in nursing homes. She used her talents as a seamstress and crocheter to make 300 wheelchair lap blankets for Joni and Friends ministry and numerous baby blankets for family, friends, and acquaintances.
Her family and friends will forever cherish the gifts of wisdom and memories she gave them– from blankets to books, plants to puzzles, memories of popcorn parties, bingo and card games, stories, and love.
Phyllis’ spirit lives on. She will be laid to rest in Pearland, Texas, at South Park Cemetery.