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Obituary: Phyllis Greenwood ’58

March 29, 1936 - November 19, 2010

Mother and Friend

Phyllis Greenwood died of brain cancer on Nov. 19, 2010, happily in her home in Alameda, without medical treatment.

Phyllis (neé Feldman) was born March 29, 1936, in Brooklyn, N.Y., into an extended Jewish family, including immigrant grandparents. She attended New York public schools and Brooklyn College before transferring to Antioch College in Ohio. There she studied history and met Bruce Hackett, from Omaha, whom she married in 1958 in a non-denominational ceremony.

They moved to Berkeley in 1959, where she recalled arriving to find cherry trees blooming in February, and knowing she had come to the right place. In the 1960s Phyllis earned a Master's degree in City Planning from UC Berkeley and gave birth to her children, Gretchen and Jesse.

She and Bruce divorced in 1970 and she became a licensed psychotherapist, earning certificates in psychodrama and Buddhist chaplaincy, and degrees in Clinical and Transpersonal Psychology. As a counselor she advised generations of clients who came for help with troubled marriages, careers, and spirits.

In the last year, Phyllis received certification from the Twilight Brigade to visit dying veterans. When diagnosed with brain cancer she chose to make death the final project of her life, in which task she was aided by her devoted friend, Gail Stewart, and the wonderful staff of Kaiser Hospice.

Phyllis is survived by her children, Gretchen Hackett Brinser and Jesse Mather Hackett, and granddaughters Emma and Reilly Mae. In her memory, friends are encouraged to sponsor an animal at the Oakland Zoo, www.oakland zoo.org