Phyllis Marie Ruble Johnson

Phyllis Marie Ruble Johnson

Aug. 5, 1951 —  July 16, 2020

In Loving Memory

Phyllis Marie Johnson passed away peacefully at home on July 16, 2020. She was 68 years old. Viewing will be Thursday, July 23, from 9:30am to 5pm and Friday the 24 from 1pm to 5pm at Mountain View-Colonial DeWitt. A Graveside service will be Saturday, July 25 at 10am at Blue Mountain Memorial Gardens, 300 SE Myra Road, College Place.

Phyllis was born in Bellingham, WA on August 5, 1951, to Wesley and Frances Ruble. She graduated from Burlington High School in 1969. Then she went to Skagit Valley Community College in Mt. Vernon. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Education from Central Washington State College in 1973. Her first teaching job was at Edison Elementary School.

Phyllis began teaching at Touchet Elementary School in 1974 and retired 34 years later in 2008. She met Jesse Duane Johnson, fell in love, and they were married on June 14, 1980. They lived in Walla Walla for 46 years. Phyllis was loved as a teacher by her students and known for her big smile. In 1991, she was nominated as Teacher of the Year. She started a swimming program for Touchet Elementary students at the YMCA.

Phyllis partnered with the Tri-State Fish Hatchery to raise steelhead eggs in her classroom aquarium, the fish were later released in the Touchet River.

Phyllis loved teaching. It was her pride and joy. She was very proud of her students and glad she lived here so she could see them grow and succeed in their careers.

Phyllis spent summers camping, biking, and fishing with her family and friends in the great outdoors. Her focus was centered on her family and friends. But most of all, she loved her kids and grandchildren and would always be there when needed. She and Duane celebrated her retirement by traveling cross-country from October 21 to December 4, 2008. They explored 24 states, driving more than 9,000 miles. The trip around the country was the highlight of Phyllis’ travels.

In April 2012, a PET scan revealed Phyllis had breast cancer. After receiving treatments, she was pronounced cancer free in April 2013. For seven years Phyllis enjoyed taking trips with her family, relatives, and friends. Then in July 2019 Phyllis learned she had progressive metastatic bone cancer.

Phyllis is survived by her husband, Duane; two daughters, Jessica (Trent) Robbins, Jamie (Mark) Anderson; two grandkids, Teagen and Ryler Robbins; sister, Shirley Ruble; brother, Jim (Barbara) Ruble; and niece, Amy Ruble. She was preceded in death by her parents; and brother, Jerry Ruble.

Memorial contributions may be made to Shriner’s Children Hospital or Touchet Education Foundation. Friends and family may share memories and sign her online guestbook at