Marian Ruth 'Joy Elizabeth' Phillips Butler

Profile Updated: January 11, 2011
Marian Ruth 'Joy Elizabeth' Phillips
Class of 1957
Residing In: Laguna Woods, CA USA
Children, Grandchildren: As of March 2009

Two children:
Son Bob Ritchie and his wife Lourdes Maldonado, who live More…in Puerto Rico with their five children - Fernando (16), twins Samantha and Cassandra (14), Tatiana (12), Bobby (7).
Daughter Cathy and her husband Sean Lynch, who live in Warner Springs, CA with their two children - Sean Patrick (18) and Alena (11).

June of 2009, my grandson Sean Patrick gave the valedictory address for his graduating class at Warner High School. He is currently a freshman at UC Merced pursuing a major in Engineering.
Occupation: Facilitator; teacher; joyful traveler
Yes! Attending Reunion
Occupation/Career(s) Details:

Retired as school teacher in 2006. I taught in the United States and Puerto Rico, both in public and private schools. I have also been doing individual and group work with adults since the early 80s.

Nowadays, I enjoy teaching adults, facilitating growth and change as we enter a whole new paradigm of global living and relating to self, others, and all life.

I provide individual counseling and personal growth classes on the continent and in Puerto Rico.
As a group facilitator with people developing personally, professionally and spiritually, my mantras include "Trust the Process" and "Everything is Possible".

Strong influences on this work include: A Course in Miracles, Buddhism as taught by the Dalai Lama and Thich Nhat Hanh, Native American Spirituality (Lakota Sioux Sweat Lodge and Sun Dance), quantum physics, and New Thought.

Different places I have lived:

Redlands, CA
Orange County, CA
Skyforest, CA
Ponce, PR
Warner Springs, CA
Orange County, CA
The Open Road, USA as of May 1, 2009

Though the open road beckoned mightily, my roots here in OC have grown deep, so I still reside here, traveling from a home base.

Family history living in South Pasadena:

Our family moved from Hillside Village to South Pasadena in October 1953. I attended SP JHS and graduated from SPHS.

Family members who also went to SPHS:

My two younger brothers, John Phillips and Glenn Phillips, played football, and John graduated from SPHS in 1962.
My parents moved to San Pedro where Glenn finished high school.

Brother John and I live near one another and share several interests and activities.

Other SPHS graduates I keep in touch with:

Karen Karansky Stone
Dave Stone
Barbara Woodruff - at Karen's and Dave's 50th wedding anniversary
Rusty Miller (1956) - also at the anniversary celebration
Mary Tepe (1960?) was there, too

School Memories:

Fosselman's was a great place to go after school to get ice cream sodas. I hear Fosselman's is still around. Do kids still dip their straw wrappers in their sodas and blow them onto the ceiling?

My best friend Karen Karansky (Stone) lived with us throughout high school. Karen and I would take the bus to Pasadena where we spent hours shopping at the stores on Colorado Blvd. When desperate, we even walked from So. Pas. a few times. Of course we had to buy Spaldings - either saddle oxfords or white bucks - fabric to make pleated skirts, pastel sweater & skirt sets, tabis and whatever we considered the fashion of the day.

We also spent lots of time waiting for Dave Stone and his friends to work on their cars before going on dates. Sometimes, they would work so long on the cars Karen and I would get disgusted, leave, and go shopping instead.

During Jr. High, Paula Santee and I would sometimes get together on a Saturday to dream about being in love with whoever was the latest heartthrob. We'd also walk around So. Pas. - I don't remember why.
Karen, Barb Woodruff and I did stuff together.
Faye Nahigian, Linda (Linnis) Logan, Nancy Bates, Charlotte Biles, Anita Telling and I hung out at various times. I had my first drink (vodka) at Faye's one weekend when her parents were out of town. I left money for the vodka on the back of the toilet seat in the store where I worked part time. By agreement, the store owner "found" the money, and at the end of the day I "found" the vodka. That night, a bunch of us sat in a circle in Faye's living room and took swigs from the bottle. We may also have smoked cigarettes. It all seemed so daring to me.

Linda, who liked to be called Linnis, and I had long discussions about religion and spirituality. And Anita, do you remember the "36C" club?

Drama classes with Mr. Tewksbury were a thrill, and I got to be in the Senior Play - Arsenic and Old Lace - with Jo Alexander, Britt Pohlman, Mike (Smith?) Marilyn (last name?) and Pat Barnes.

Mrs. Berlot was my favorite teacher. She so influenced me, I majored in English and earned a BA from the University of Redlands. Writing continues to bring me great joy as well as being cathartic.

Mr. Minard somehow taught us all how to drive while looking calm, cool, collected and put together in his white shirts, suits and ties. Also the attendance officer, Mr. M often checked attendance throughout the day and managed to catch various ones of us from time to time.

Easter Vacations - Palm Springs, Puerto Penasco, Newport Beach - were dizzying weeks of bleaching hair, getting tans, and picking up boys.

Dancing with Ted Schmidt was always fun. It's hard to believe he's gone now. I never saw him after we graduated, so he remains in my memory a tall, red-haired teen with a winning smile, truly kind, and skilled on the dance floor.

Milestones & Epiphanies:

Epiphanies are frequent these days. Sometimes, I feel I'm just waking up. Ripening through the years, there is so much to appreciate, and awe at the wonders of Life. It isn't at all what I learned at my mother's knee.

Living and teaching in Puerto Rico for 2 1/2 years brought one awakening after another. I had the joy of being with my grandchildren during their early years, and had the privilege of witnessing my son as the remarkable father he is. I discovered I'm allergic to cockroaches, can endure humidity, and that we are all one no matter our history, ethnicity, lifestyle and beliefs.

I spent time with two young American English teachers from Florida. They taught High School English and I was the Lower School Librarian. We socialized on Friday nights, went to people's weddings and other ceremonies, camped, encouraged each other, and commiserated when the students were obnoxious. We learned to eat mangos, mofungo, plantain and do the salsa.

While in Ponce, PR I taught adults at Casa Rochira, a holistic health center where I also practiced yoga with the best teacher I've had to date. I met an El Salvadoran medicine man and healer, regularly did ceremony at his organic farm in the mountains, spent time with Puerto Ricans learning their history and indigenous practices and beliefs. It was during this time I realized I was a global citizen, no longer limited to being a whitebread American from California.

Returning to the States, I lived close to my daughter and her family for six years. There, I had the pleasure of seeing my grandchildren at school every day, and bearing witness to their unique ways of being. We went on nature walks there in remote Warner Springs, stood under the Milky Way, did homework together, played cards, went on adventures, and spoke of the concerns of the heart. I saw how my daughter and son-in-law had created a close family, their deep understanding of one another and their children, and knew they could weather any storm because of the strength of their commitments. When the time came, I knew I could leave them in their own safe hands.

I have come to know there is no past that cannot be healed, and no future to fear. Entering the Inipi (sweat lodge) Friday and Saturday nights for five years has been a humbling experience. I've learned how to pray with gratitude and free of supplication, honor the great teachings of our indigenous sisters and brothers, listen to the howl of coyotes and receive their primal messages.

The call to explore the hills and valleys and rivers of this great land has come. People all over the United States are searching for and discovering the wonders of life in the 21st century. I want to meet as many of those people as possible, share wisdom and laughter, explore questions and answers.

2009 is itself one grand epiphany. May all your experiences, both those you desire and those you would rather have bypassed, add to your treasure trove of wisdom, strength and possibilities.

Many blessings to each and everyone in the Class of 1957.

Joy E Butler

What's happening in my life now:

What a great question. What's happening now is that I feel ageless, somehow immune to societal concepts of how one should look, act, think and live at the age of 69.

A passionate interest is water - its state and function both personally and globally. Drinking re-structured, alkalized water is somewhat like being baptized in the Fountain of Youth. Hiking, yoga, climbing, doing the ropes are all within my range of activity.

Global influence - since I no longer use plastic bottles or drink bottled water, I am one less person glutting our streams and oceans with destructive debris. There are many of us who taking this step. It feels good to - at the very least - reduce the damage done on a daily basis to water, our most endangered global resource.

Pastimes & Hobbies:

Walking is one of my great pleasures, along with yoga, and push-ups.

Reading the works of the Dalai Lama, Alice Hoffman, Linda Hogan, Sue Monk Kidd, Thich Nhat Hanh, Eckert Tolle, Agatha Christie and all types of authors, is absorbing and opens the heart and mind to possibilities once never even dreamed of.

Travel is a must! In the past four years I've been to Bali twice, Puerto Rico several times, Utah and South Dakota. Other trips include many summer RV journeys throughout the U.S. with husband and children, six weeks in Europe with daughter, forays into Canada, 10 Spring breaks in Mexico with family and friends and plane trips to visit friends here and there.

I love to garden, hang out with friends, sing, play word games, hike, share meals.

Favorite Music, Songs, Bands

Lots of classical composers
Little Richard
Just about any rhythm and blues performers. I listened to Hunter Hancock - "Central and Vernon, Vernon and Central" - while in high school, and still get excited about R&B, including Eric Clapton's renditions.
Some rock'n'roll
Occasionally, I even listen to C & W stations

Favorite Books, Magazines, Movies, TV etc:

POWER by Linda Hogan
THE NEW EARTH by Eckhart Tolle

DVDs: Down the Rabbit Hole
Blue Gold: World Water Secrets
The Big Chill
V for Vendetta
Eat, Pray, Love