Phyllis Hoover Barrowcliff

Date of Birth

October 22, 1925

Date of Death

October 11, 2022

City of Death

Santa Barbara

Phyllis Corriene Hoover Barrowcliff
October 22, 1925 – October 11, 2022.

Phyllis was born in Bedford, Indiana on October 22, 1925 to Howard and Mary Hoover. After frequent moves due to her father’s work in the limestone quarries, her family settled in Spencer, a small county seat. There Phyllis met and had her very first date with “the boy next door” John Barrowcliff. While John was in the service in WW2, she attended Indiana University, joining Phi Mu and graduating with a degree in Physical Education and a teaching credential. She and John married in 1947 and Phyllis taught school in Indianapolis while John attended Butler University.

John’s business career would eventually take them to cities in Ohio, Missouri, California and Utah, but in the 50’s and 60’s they raised their family in Santa Monica. Phyllis was the mom everyone wished they could have. Although she didn’t know how to cook when she got married, but she became a great cook. She had been raised with a lot of criticism but she gave encouragement and praise. While working as a junior high substitute teacher (she was a favorite), she was also helping at church and with the PTA, Girls Scouts, and Little League. TV shows like “Father Knows Best” were thought to be unrealistic, but for our family, they seemed just like home.

Phyllis and John were active in service and leadership in Presbyterian Churches throughout their lives. At their churches, “John and Phyl” were known for the warmth of their welcome and friendship. (While living in Hacienda Heights, John and Phyllis helped establish Shepherd of the Valley Presbyterian Church.) They taught their children by example that loving God meant being thankful, doing good and showing love for others.

When they retired to Lompoc, Phyllis was active in the women’s philanthropic society “P.E.O.”, John enjoyed golf, and they hosted many family and friends. They traveled the country extensively by car and had wonderful trips to Alaska, Hawaii, Europe, Israel and through the Panama Canal. In 2008, due to John’s failing health, they moved in with their daughter Ellen in Santa Barbara. John died in 2010. They were blessed with 62 years of marriage.

Phyllis enjoyed life in Santa Barbara and her friends in Chapter QA of P.E.O. and First Presbyterian Church. She welcomed family and friends to their home and enjoyed traveling, including cruises, roadtrips, and flights to see family in Indiana, Arkansas and even Prague. Just this July, she and Ellen flew to Indiana to visit her brother and family!

Phyllis’s faith, family and friends were always important to her. She put others first. She was a wonderful hostess. She loved the autumn leaves in the Midwest (fall colors were her favorites). She loved celebrating all the holidays, especially Christmas, and had a beautiful collection of Nativities. She started wonderful family traditions of an annual Christmas letter and of all the family and guests having a part in reading the Christmas Story and singing carols together on Christmas Eve.

Phyllis’s heart was always to serve others as her faith guided her life. She was a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother (GiGi). Her home was always a safe place with Love being the key ingredient. Everyone was welcome. Love is her legacy to her family and it is priceless.

Phyllis is survived by her brother John Hoover and wife Louise of Indianapolis, daughter Ellen Duke of Santa Barbara, son Brent Barrowcliff and wife Debbie of Siloam Springs AR, grandchildren Brent Duke (Laurie), Brandon Duke (Monika), Lynn Wiseley (Brett), Beth Teel (Brandon) and Mark Barrowcliff (Shannon), and great-grandchildren Brayden, Devin, Graham, Terezka, Calvin, Corrine, Ellinka and Brooklyn.

A celebration of Phyllis’s life will be at 2 p.m. on Saturday, November 5th, in the Chapel of the Good Shepherd at First Presbyterian Church of Santa Barbara, 21 East Constance Ave., Santa Barbara, CA 93105.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the P.E.O. Foundation (3700 Grand Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50312 ( for scholarships or to the First Presbyterian Church of Santa Barbara ( for their Warming Shelter ministry.


Please note this login is to submit events or press releases. Use this page here to login for your Independent subscription

Not a member? Sign up here.