Obituary for Phyllis Ann Peña-Valdez

Phyllis Ann Peña-Valdez, of Safford, passed away Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019, at the age of 70. Phyllis was born March 1, 1948, in Lafollette, Tennessee to Leonard Jordan and Gladys Young Jordan. 

In 1949, the family moved to East Peoria, Illinois when Phyllis was about 2-years-old, and after her father, Leonard, completed barber college, they moved to Melvin, Illinois. In 1955, the family moved again, this time to Sibley, Illinois, when Phyllis was about 8-years-old. Once again, feeling the need to move for work, the family packed up and moved to Loda, Illinois in the summer of 1957.

Being used to moving a lot, Phyllis and her children moved to Mesa, where she met the love of her life, Joe Duran Peña-Valdez. They were married in Mesa on Aug. 23, 1974. She loved adventure and was ready to pick up and go anytime. Many camping trips and trips to the ocean were always on the list of things to do. Phyllis loved seeing new places.

Phyllis Ann Peña-Valdez

She loved poetry, gardening, being a homemaker and traveling with her husband and family.  Phyllis had a wicked sense of humor, was an awesome mom and was very strong-willed.

Phyllis leaves behind her children; Shelly Peña-Valdez (Filemon) Onsurez, Ben (Gussie) Peña, Kelsey (Daniel) Rojas, Rosanna Peña (Robert) Mooneyham, Mona Cortez, Joe (Barbara) Peña, Timothy Peña, Danielle (Jim) Cantrell, and Paty (Tony) Twyman; her siblings, Preston and Daniel Jordan; and many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, aunts and uncles, and her pet, Buddy-Joe.

She is preceded in death by her loving husband, Joe Peña-Valdez; her parents, Leonard and Gladys Jordan; and her son-in-law, Jimmy Cortez.

A Reunion in heaven party was held Saturday, March 16, starting at 5 p.m. at the FFF Clubhouse located at 871 Ceairra Linda in Safford.  A dance followed at 7 p.m.

Arrangements are under the direction of McDougal’s Caldwell Funeral Chapel & Gila Valley Crematory.  Online condolences may be extended at

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