The Life of My Grandmother, Patricia Phillips–Obituary

For several years I have been looking for the obituary of my grandmother, Patricia (Patty) Phillips. I found my grandfather’s obituary several years ago, and today, I finally found the online obituary for my grandmother. I post these obituaries to commemorate my family. Here are a few facts I gathered: 1) My grandmother married at the age of 21; 2) She was married to my grandfather for 59 years, 11 months, and 3 weeks (she died 1 week short of their 60th wedding anniversary); 3) She held a few temporary jobs, however, most of her time was spent raising her children and working at home (which, FYI, is a very respectable task); 4) My grandparents had 5 children, one dying in infancy; 5) I used to watch all of those old movies with my grandmother and she really could name almost everyone; 6) The obituary claims my grandmother had 3 grandchildren and their names were Billy (me) Roach, Stuart Phillips, and Zach Phillips.

I could list many more things, but this will suffice for now.


Patricia Ann “Patty” Phillips, 81, of Salem, formerly of Mt. Pleasant, died Wednesday, Nov. 14, at her home.

The family will receive friends beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 17 at St. Alphonsus Catholic Church in Mt. Pleasant. A funeral mass will be held at 10 a.m., with Father Nicholas J. Adam officiating. Burial will be in the Salem East Cemetery.

Weir & Kimzey Funeral Home of Mt. Pleasant is assisting the Phillips family with the arrangements. Memorials may be directed to Great River Hospice.

Patricia was born Oct. 9, 1926 in Ottumwa, the daughter of Edward and Bessie Burton Wrenn. On Nov. 21, 1947, she married Raymond Andrew “Ray” Phillips at the former Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Ottumwa.

A graduate of Ottumwa High School, she attended Iowa Success Business College in Ottumwa for a year. Patty was a longtime homemaker; she worked briefly at the Veterans Administration Office and the John Deere Manufacturing Plant, both in Ottumwa. She and her family moved to Mt. Pleasant in the 1960s, and then to the Salem area in the 1970s.

She was a member of St. Alphonsus Catholic Church. In her spare time, Patty enjoyed reading, especially Reader’s Digest, and news programs on television. Patty loved old movies and was quite adept in naming the actors and actresses in them. She also found great pleasure in scouring yard and garage sales.

She is survived by her husband; two sons, John Phillips of Iowa City and Marty Phillips of Ft. Madison; two daughters, Teresa Phillips of Ogdensburg, N.Y. and Laura Roach of Salem; a sister, Mary Marcella and her husband Vern Claussen of Ottumwa; and three grandchildren.

Her parents, brothers, John, Edward, James and Joseph Wrenn, and infant daughter Mary Ann Phillips preceded her in death.

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