Remembering Union Sister Phyllis Tunson

NewsJanuary 11, 2011

Long-time union activist Phyllis Tunson died two weeks ago in a tragic accident on her way home to San Francisco from Woodland Hills, where she was visiting family for the holidays.

Phyllis was a food service worker and a union shop steward at the Ralph K. Davies campus of the California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, where she worked for 36 years.  She was a key leader during the 60-day strike against Sutter Health.

This is her family’s obituary to her:

Phyllis Rayetta Tunson was born on August 21, 1952 in San Francisco, California to proud parents Raymond (who preceded her death) and Philonese Tunson.  Phyllis was the oldest of four siblings and received her education from New Orleans, Lousiana.  She graduated from Walter L. Cohen High School where she was an active member of the Softball and Track teams.

Phyllis received training in Hospitality shortly after graduating from High School.  In November of 1973 she became the proud parent of Shawn Paul Tunson and shortly after, she was offered a position with Ralph K. Davies Medical Center in San Francisco, California.

Phyllis and Shawn moved to San Francisco, California in August of 1974 where she quickly became an active member of Third Baptist Church.  She was a member of both the Cathedral Choir and the Gospel Chimes.

While being employed at Davies Medical Cneter (now California Pacific Medical Center) Phyllis was elected to the position of Shop Steward of The National Union of Healthcare Workers.  Phyllis was regarded as a positive mentor to all her co-workers and fellow union members.

Phyllis will forever be remembered by her mother Philonese Tunson of Atlanta, GA, her son and daughter Shawn and Charné, and grandchildren Chloe, Shanel and Shawn Christian Tunson of Woodland Hills, CA, her brother, sister and niece Donald, Linda and Cierra Tunson of New Orleans, LA, sister Marilyn Tunson of Atlanta, GA, her church family of Third Baptist Church, her co-workers and patients at Pacific Medical Center and countless family members and friends.

Today we celebrate the life of Phyllis Rayetta Tunson.  A great mother, grandmother, sister and friend.  There is an even greater celebration in heaven as she has joined her father, brother, grandparents, great uncles and aunts.