Cover photo for Phyllis G. Aleman's Obituary
Phyllis G. Aleman Profile Photo
1934 Phyllis 2023

Phyllis G. Aleman

April 1, 1934 — March 22, 2023

Felipa “Phyllis” Galvan Alemán 

April 1, 1934 – March 22, 2023 

 

Felipa Galvan Alemán died peacefully on Wednesday, March 22, 2023, at her home in Selma, CA. She is preceded in death by her beloved husband of 61 years, David Alemán de la Rosa; her sisters, Lupe Gonzalez, Frances Garcia, Bernarda Galvan, and Jennie Fraijo; brothers, Blasito Galvan, Henry Galvan, and Michael Galvan; grandson, Christopher James Reis; and dear great-granddaughters, Serene Dominguez and Skylar Coleman.  

Born to Blas and Maria de Jesus Galvan on April 1, 1934, Felipa survived the threatening first days of her birth in Phoenix, AZ, to live a long life of caring relations and devoted family. Blas and Maria would come to settle in Selma in 1942. Felipa warmly recounted her life as a young girl in those days, enjoying long talks with her father on their front porch, playing “comadritas” with her mother, providing child care for a local family while they tended to their nearby grocery store, and attending elementary schools with her sisters. After graduating from 8th grade, she accompanied her father and older sisters in local agricultural fields as farm laborers. She was least fond of working the cotton fields and grabbing too quickly at the boll.   

Felipa met her husband, David, in Selma and by 1953 they married, moved to Salinas, CA, and began a family. They returned to Selma in 1955 where they settled to raise their nine children. Felipa was determined to maintain the family budget, working the summer months to contribute to the household income and often bringing her older children to work alongside her. She initially worked in local fields and packing houses, and then briefly as a sales representative for the cosmetic company, Studio Girl. She spearheaded March of Dimes and American Heart Association fund drives in her neighborhood and would generate a collection for neighbors who lost a loved one. It is through these experiences that she taught her children an ethic toward work, charity and justice that would prove lasting for their careers and livelihood.   

As the family grew, Felipa was encouraged to fulfill her wish to graduate from high school. She enrolled at Selma Unified Adult School and graduated with a diploma. She accomplished this while tending to her family, working in the day, and going to school at night. Shortly after, Felipa was employed by the Selma Unified School District as a bilingual instructional assistant, first at the junior high school and later at Selma High School. In these academic settings Felipa found mentors, made life-long friendships, and positively impacted the educational experiences of many of Selma’s newly arriving immigrant youth. She was respected by her peers, elected to serve on numerous committees, and eventually retired after 25 years of service.   

Felipa found a closeness to God through song and praise. She was a lifelong member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church where she taught first communion catechism classes and guided parents who prepared their children for the sacrament of baptism. She enjoyed engaging with the children and their parents and collaborating with her fellow catechists. Felipa sang with the church choir with her siblings Michael, Jane and Teresa.  

Felipa was an avid reader who found solace in embroidering, crocheting, and tending to her garden. She excelled in the kitchen especially with her favored tamales, menudo and capirotada. She enjoyed small outings with David, whether that was going to the local movie theatre and then Baskin-Robbins for ice-cream or making weekend trips to the central coast or to visit family in southern California. She relished longer family excursions, whether that was to explore Hawaii and Mexico or to visit with her sons in Virginia and New Mexico. She took delight in the mundane of late-night television, especially Jimmy Kimmel, but was intent in keeping abreast of world, national and local news. She valued the power and right to vote and welcomed informed discussion of politics. She was a good listener, generous in her words and opinion, wise and discerning. She was charitable; sensitive to give to those in need. Most importantly, she loved and was loved by her Father God in whom she trusted.  

Felipa’s love, devotion, and care for David lasted to his death in 2014. Together they reared nine children, welcomed 25 grandchildren, were blessed with 28 great-grandchildren and 1 great-great grandson. David and Felipa’s home was the center of many family gatherings and a hub of activity with coffee and pan dulce readily available for anyone who came by.  

Felipa is honored and missed by her children and their spouses: Anita and Jim Reis, Lupe and Scott Vaughn, David and Letisia Alemán, Elsa and Richard Goldstone, Bertha and Steve Dominguez, Lisa Alemán Henslee, Carlos and Melissa Alemán, Jesse Alemán and Melina Vizcaino-Alemán, and Rebecca Alemán. She is remembered by her many grandchildren; her sisters Jane Burrola and Rosemary Miller, sister and brother-in-law Teresa and Peter Reynoso, brother and sister-in-law Louie and Sally Galvan, brother Jesse Galvan, and sisters-in-law Linda Galvan and Margarite Galvan; and numerous nephews and nieces.   

Felipa’s family appreciates Drs. Josephine Perez and Mohamed Fayed who guided Felipa and the family throughout her long illness with pulmonary fibrosis, and thanks the Hinds Hospice care team whose compassionate professionalism brought much comfort to Felipa and her family. They are also indebted to Lydia Ibarra and Elisa Alemán for the tender care and comfort they provided to their grandmother during her final months. The family is touched by all who were generous in their prayers, time, and support, and especially by “the little ones” who showered their “Wita” with love, flowers, drawings and homemade cards.   

Visitation services for Felipa will be held at the Thomas-Marcom Funeral Home in Selma on Wednesday, March 29, 2023, from 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM, with the recitation of the Rosary at 6:00 PM.  A funeral mass will be held Thursday, March 30, 9:00 AM at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. Internment will immediately follow at the Floral Memorial Cemetery in Selma, with reception to follow. Donations in her name can be made to Hinds Hospice, St. Joseph Catholic Church, or St. Joseph CCD Religious Education Program.  

 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Phyllis G. Aleman, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

10:00am - 8:00 pm (Eastern time)

Thomas-Marcom Funeral Home

2345 McCall Avenue, Selma, CA 93662

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Prayer Service

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

6:00 - 6:45 pm (Eastern time)

Thomas-Marcom Funeral Home

2345 McCall Avenue, Selma, CA 93662

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Catholic Mass

Thursday, March 30, 2023

9:00 - 9:45 am (Eastern time)

St. Josephs Catholic Church

2441 Dockery Avenue, Selma, CA 93662

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Graveside Service

Thursday, March 30, 2023

10:00 - 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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