Ethel Lois Ann Phillips, “Annie” (90), passed away suddenly on May 25, 2023. She was the youngest child of the late Alfred and Bama Phillips, and the “feisty baby sister” of Louise Lutes (Greenacres) and the late Alfred Eugene Phillips (Boynton Beach) and Vera Strickland (West Palm Beach). Annie maintained a home with her loyal friend, Virginia (“Nee Nee”) Shaw until 2011, and has since lived, played, argued, traveled, looked after, and enjoyed life with her sister, Louise.
Her extended family includes beloved sister and friend, Valerie Phillips; nieces Toni Hollis, Rosanne Diehl (Tom), Bama Lutes Deal (John), and Paula Goode (Marvin); nephews Albert Lutes, Jr. (Sharon), Phillip Lutes (Kim); a host of great nieces and great nephews, along with their young children. Every single one remembers her as the “tickling, teasing, encouraging, fun Aunt,” the person who taught them to “behave only when they have to (to please the old folks)”, and admonished them to have fun in everything they do. She often said she would never grow up. She never did, and we loved her for that.
Annie played the ukelele, sang songs, danced with abandon, was a huge fan of Elvis Presley and Dolly Parton, loved fancy cars, and had a knack for including bright colors and sparkly trim in her wardrobe. As a three-time survivor of breast cancer and countless other conditions and surgeries, she never met a stranger and would routinely tell anyone she met that “both men and women can get breast cancer, so check yourselves!” It was her mission, and she meant it.
Annie attended elementary and junior high school in West Palm Beach, before graduating from Monte Verde Academy (Monte Verde, Florida). She retired after a 30-year career as a telephone operator and supervisor with Bell South in West Palm Beach, then worked for the PBC Sheriff’s Office, PBC Circuit Court, and in various administrative jobs, while also providing care to elderly friends and loved ones. Having visited Cuba in 1950, she enjoyed the chance to travel again in retirement, visiting national parks throughout the Rockies and Pacific Northwest, as well as Las Vegas; Banff, Canada; and fun cruises to Alaska, Mexico, the Caribbean, and the Panama Canal. She was a regular at local arcades and casinos, where she made more friends—and occasionally won some extra cash. She is greatly missed by all.
Friends and family are invited to a Celebration of Life at 11 a.m. on June 10 at Our Savior Lutheran Church, 1615 Lake Avenue, Lake Worth Beach, followed by a casual reception. In lieu of flowers, if desired, donations in Annie’s memory to Our Savior Lutheran Church or the Wounded Warrior Project are welcomed.