In her time here on earth, she would have been glad to treat you special if you would have crossed paths with her. That was one of her gifts. She blessed countless people with her beautiful smile and warm personality, witty humor, and knowing how to make your day a little brighter with a kind word.
Playing guitar, writing and singing, since age 12, she used her talents at nursing homes, churches, family gatherings, and teaching her grandchildren what she could. She was blessed at helping people to forget their worries, even for just a little while with her music. She was a proud member of professional songwriters association since July 13, 1977.
Besides being a NASCAR fan, her passions were listening to gospel and country music, watching American Idol, Andy Griffith, her favorite actor, John Wayne, and God, her shield and companion.
As a native of Cleveland, she and her late husband, owned and operated 4-Way Dry Cleaners on Dalton Pike until the death of J.P. Phillips in 1973. Living as a widow for 40 years, she continued to work, drive and live independently until March of 2013 while never complaining. Her last job was with Roy’s Cleaners where she retired three weeks ago.
She was truly a proud, strong, American woman.
She was preceded in death by her husband, James Paul Phillips; her parents, Maynard and Bertha Whitmire Varnell; brother, James Varnell; sister, Frances McSpadden; son, Terry Ray Phillips; and granddaughter, Terri Renee Phillips.
With touched hearts, she is survived by her loving son, Gary Paul Phillips and Teresa; sisters: Christine Swafford and Dorothy Ross; brother, Tommy Varnell; grandchildren: Houston Phillips and Kristin, Tess Phillips, Leigha Phillips, Brandon Jason Phillips, Shayne Phillips and Tiffany; great-grandchildren: Dexter Phillips, Lexus Phillips, Jakob Phillips, Sierra Phillips, Braxton, Ariana Lowe, Davin Phillips and Christian Phillips.
The funeral will be held at 4 p.m. Saturday, April 20, 2013, in the chapel of Ralph Buckner Funeral Home with Pastor Mitch Maloney officiating.
Interment will follow in Sunset Memorial Gardens with a white dove release ceremony concluding the service.
Houston Phillips, Zach Brandon, Jason Phillips, Devin Phillips, Shayne Phillips and Jakob Phillips will serve as pallbearers. Honorary pallbearers will be Gary Clark, Don Ledford, Sr. and Charles Swafford.
The family will receive friends from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. this evening at the funeral home.
We invite you to send a message of condolence and view the Phillips family guest book at www.ralphbuckner.com.