Phyllis SkalakMarch 7, 1925 ~ June 4, 2017 (age 92)
PHYLLIS SKALAK Las Vegas resident Phyllis Haugland Skalak passed away, Sunday morning, June 4, 2017. Phyllis was born March 7, 1925 in Watson, Minn. During and after World War II, she worked for the federal government, then in the fashion industry. She married William H. "Buck" Skalak in 1948 in Los Angeles. Phyllis and Buck moved from California to Las Vegas in 1963 with their four children, William, Linda, Laura and John, settling in Charleston Heights, near Jones and US-95. They brought with them the Skalak Swim School, which they had started several years before in Southern California, and which they instituted into the Las Vegas Valley in the spring of 1964. Phyllis continued to run the swim school until 2000, when they sold it to another family who has continued to operate it since. While operating the Skalak Swim School, Phyllis, her family and employees taught thousands of babies, children of all ages, and even some adults, at their home pool. She and her teachers also taught lessons throughout the Las Vegas Valley at customers' homes, and at several of the hotel-casinos when various Las Vegas entertainers were in town. Phyllis and her swim school thereby provided an invaluable asset to the Las Vegas community for nearly forty years. In recognition of her many years of service to the Las Vegas community, Phyllis was honored with the Las Vegas "Citizen of the Month" award in September, 2004. After selling the swim school, Phyllis and Buck moved to Summerlin, where Phyllis retired from her teaching career to begin a second career as a writer. She wrote and published a fictionalized memoir, "Catalina Avenue," about meeting and marrying her husband in southern California. She also wrote and published a collection of short stories titled, "Angel in Madrid." Phyllis was a devoted mother, and was highly involved in many after-school activities with her children. She was preceded in death by her husband, Buck, and daughter Laura. Phyllis is survived by sons, William and John, of Phoenix, Ariz. and Las Vegas, respectively; daughter, Linda Skalak Pye; and by many grandchildren; and great-grandchildren. She will be missed by her friends, family and long-time community members who fondly recall the swimming lessons she provided them and their children. Visitation will be 9-11 a.m. Saturday, June 10, with services to immediately follow at Bunkers Eden Vale Mortuary, 925 Las Vegas Blvd. N., Las Vegas, Nevada 89101.