Phyllis W. McAfee, “The Judge,” was born in Washington DC to Ruth and Arthur Greene on March 23, 1927. In 1970, she moved to the Bay Area in California with her husband, Travis, and their three children, Michael, Michelle, and Monica, where she became an active member in many facets of her community.
Phyllis was a champion of education. She graduated with her Bachelor’s of Science degree from James Milliken University in Decatur Illinois. Later she received her Master of Science degree from The University of Illinois, and
earned her administrative credential from the University of California at Berkeley. As a teacher, Phyllis taught home economics, boys chef, and life skills courses. As a counselor and pupil personnel coordinator, she developed conflict management workshops, and was lovingly embraced as a “second mom” by many at-risk youth. As an interim principal and a vice principal, she spearheaded monumental career days involving a range of people that included local and national celebrities. Upon her retirement, the entire student body surprised her on the schoolyard and the school choir sang thanks to their loving vice principal.
Phyllis was warm, welcoming, social and charismatic. She was a Diamond Life member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority; Lifetime member of Jack and Jill, Inc.; founding member Black Family’s Association of Contra Costa County; member of Soroptimist International of the Americas; and a member of the Bay Area chapter of Teens of the 60’s.
As a pillar in her community, Phyllis received several honors and awards.
*the California Distinguished Citizen of the Year Award, as presented by Governor Gray Davis
*In 1984, the Contra Costa Children’s Council honored Phyllis for outstanding efforts and contributions towards the improvement of life for children and youth in Contra Costa County as a member of a public agency
*the Certificate of Commendation recognizing her nomination for the 1985 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Award for providing outstanding services to the people of Contra Costa County
*the Board of Education of the Mt. Diablo Unified School District Recognition and Appreciation Award for her Special Contribution to the students and schools of the District* the Jack and Jill
*Nellie A. Thorton Distinguished Service to Children Award for Outstanding Community Work for Children
Passionate about people, Phyllis welcomed everyone with her open-door policy. She hosted a book tour for her brother, Robert; held political fundraisers; and hosted yoga and swim classes in her home. Her friends looked forward to the McAfee’s annual party, complete with live music, an open bar, card tables, and a dance floor. Phyllis also enjoyed bowling, cooking, days at the races, and traveling. She and Travis embarked on over 40 cruises worldwide. She lived a rich, full life and will continue to spread universal, spiritual joy to all whom she touched through her nearly 93 years of life.
Phyllis transitioned on Tuesday, March 3, 2020. She was preceded in death by the love of her life, Travis T. McAfee, “Mac,” and her older brother, Arthur Greene Jr. She is survived by her sister Daisy Sanford and brother Robert Greene; daughters Michelle McAfee and Monica Spiteri; grandchildren Alessio Mauro, Sophia Crocker, Nolan Krueger, Danny Spiteri Jr., and Christian Spiteri; and great-grandchildren Nyla and Theo Crocker.
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