Thelma Phillips


Thelma Pirkle Phillips, 84, of Cleveland, passed away Friday, June 16, 2017.

She was a graduate of Bradley Central High School, Class of 1951. She was of the Baptist faith and attended both Bellefounte Baptist Church and First Baptist Church.

She had been employed by Woolworth’s 5 and 10, the central office of the Bradley County School System, and Cleveland Associated Industries.

She was a volunteer at Skyridge and Tennova hospital. She had been a member of BridgeMakers for 13-plus years and enjoyed travelling with her close friend, Virginia Dillon.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 46 years, Dennis Eugene (Dink) Phillips; parents, E.A. and Mary Pirkle; brothers: E.A. “Pete” Pirkle Jr., Warren “Barney” Pirkle, and Donald Pirkle; and sisters: Eula Pirkle Hobbs, Helen Pirkle, and Virginia Pirkle Elder.

She is survived by two sons: Craig Phillips and wife, Reenelda, and Roger Phillips, all of Cleveland; grandchildren: Chasidy Cole (Peter) and Brandon Hair of Fayetteville, N.C., Chad Phillips and Megan Phillips Varnell (Jacob) of Cleveland; great-grandchildren: Olivia Vreeland and Jax Cole of Fayetteville, N.C., and Maverick Varnell and Liam Phillips of Cleveland; and several nieces, nephews and friends.

The family expressed appreciation to Hospice of Chattanooga and Tennova Healthcare for their care and compassion.

The funeral will be conducted at 11 a.m. on Monday, June 19, 2017, in the chapel of Ralph Buckner Funeral Home with the Rev. Glenn Clower officiating.

Interment will follow in Sunset Memorial Gardens with Brent Bowles, Peter Cole, Rusty Lewis, Leland Jordan, Jacob Varnell, and Cal Pickel serving as pallbearers Nephews will serve as honorary pallbearers. Bagpipes and a white dove release ceremony will conclude the service.

The family will receive friends from 4 to 8 p.m. today at the funeral home.

You are invited to send a message of condolence and view the Phillips family guestbook at


No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment


Print subscribers have FREE access to by registering HERE

Non-subscribers have limited monthly access to local stories, but have options to subscribe to print, web or electronic editions by clicking HERE

We are sorry but you have reached the maximum number of free local stories for this month. If you have a website account here, please click HERE to log in for continued access.

If you are a print subscriber but do not have an account here, click HERE to create a website account to gain unlimited free access.

Non-subscribers may gain access by subscribing to any of our print or electronic subscriptions HERE