Obituary of Phyllis Rae Mendive Black
Phyllis Rae Harbison Mendive Black Phyllis passed away November 25, 2023 in Fruitland Idaho. She was born in Bozeman Montana on February 28, 1941 to Elisha John Harbison and Edith Ellen Crawley Harbison. She was the third of their four children. Her early years were quite unsettled as WWII was in progress. Her father enlisted in the Navy and was stationed aboard the U.S.S. Mississippi. Edith and the children moved to Tacoma Washington, where Edith worked at a munitions plant until Elisha was killed after the initial attack on Pearl Harbor, when his ship was attacked by a kamikaze plane.
The little family then moved to Grandview Idaho to be near relatives where she met and married Ben Kenison and had another child, a boy, named Albert. Ben was a construction worker and moved the family to Mountain City Nevada where Phyllis eventually met and married the “HANDSOMEST MAN SHE HAD EVER SEEN”, Celestino Mendive. Phyllis loved the isolated ranch life and had two children there Shawna and Marcus. When the family ranch broke up, they moved to Elko Nevada where they had a third child, a son Shannon. Celest passed away on August 7, 1974. Phyllis stayed in Elko where, after a time, she met and married James Black. James began a career in law enforcement and Phyllis was a reserve deputy with the Elko County Sheriff's Department. She was also an original member of the Elko County Horse Posse. James’s job took the family to Jackpot Nevada where he was a Deputy with the Elko County Sheriff's Department. Phyllis campaigned for, and was elected, as the Jackpot Justice of The Peace. This was a position that she loved, and served with honor, for 22 years before retiring.
James passed away on December 31, 2016. Phyllis stayed in the area for a number of years before moving into assisted living. She was preceded in death by her father Elisha John Harbison, mother Edith Ellen, stepfather Ben Kenison, beloved brothers Jack, Bill and Tom, her husband's Celest Mendive and James Black. Her precious daughter Shawna, nephews Willie Harbison and Danny Kenison, niece Brenda Kenison, and sister-in-law Terri Harbison.
She is survived by son’s Marcus & (Kelli) Mendive-Elko Nevada and Shannon & (Amanda) Mendive-New Plymouth Idaho. Brother Albert & (Diane) Kenison and sister-in-law Carol Harbinson, grandchildren David, Alicia, Kristina, Minnette, Wyatt, Jack, Amaia, and Leah. Phyllis had fourteen great-grandchildren, and many beloved nieces, and nephews.
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