Barbara Phillips, 84, of Ashland, WI became an angel of God, June 29, 2020. A private celebration of her life was held Friday, July 3, 2020 at Mountain Funeral Home in Ashland, WI. She was interred next to her husband in the St. Agnes cemetery.
Barbara Sharon Simmons was born to Clarence and Frances Simmons in Litchfield, MN February 22, 1936. She was baptized and confirmed in her faith at St. Paul’s German Lutheran Church.
She and her four siblings were raised during the post-depression era where she learned that hard work was the only key to success, two pair of shoes were too many, and you could get one more piece of toast from that empty jelly jar.
Prior to attending Litchfield High School, a young man from the “other side of the tracks” caught her eye. This was Frank Phillips. A shared stick of gum was all it took to cement this lifelong love, as they became high school sweethearts and later, husband and wife. (She carried that gum wrapper with her all of her life.)
She graduated high school in 1954 (where she was a class officer all 4 years). She flew to Honolulu, HI where Frank was stationed in the Air Force and on April 8, 1958 they were married at the Hickam Air Force Base. The following year, they welcomed son, Steven and in 1960, son Paul was born. Barb and Frank moved back to Litchfield, MN where Frank started his banking career. In 1962 daughter Dianna (Deena) was born.
As Frank worked his way up the banking ladder, the family moved a couple of times: Foley, MN, Lake Linden, MI and finally settled in Ashland, WI.
Barb made strong friendships wherever she lived and always had time for a cup of coffee with a neighbor – and everyone was a neighbor. She sincerely cared about people and had a way of engaging with friends to endear them to her forever.
In addition to being a homemaker, she periodically took part time jobs: Cargill, JC Penney, Thomas Bourne Architect & Engineering Co and Kallio Insurance. She also tutored an Autistic child through a couple of grade school years.
Barb enjoyed crossword puzzles, reading, baking (NOT cooking), watching/feeding the birds and crocheting afghans, hats and mittens. She crocheted 1000’s of mittens for charitable causes in her lifetime.
Barb was, at one time, President of the Ashland Garden Club, a member of Red Hats, a regular blood donor to the Red Cross and a member of the Memorial Medical Auxiliary. She also volunteered annually for the Whistlestop.
Barb is survived by her children: Steve (Mary Jane) of Lisbon, WI, Paul (Tammie Rose) of Omaha, NE and Deena Kacvinsky of Ashland, WI; her grandchildren, Ryan (Dallas, TX), Delanie (Colorado Springs, CO), Libby (Brookfield, WI), Harrison (Buffalo, NY), Charlie (Lisbon, WI); and her brother, Dick (Pat) Simmons of Coon Rapids, MN.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Frank Phillips, her parents, Clarence and Frances Simmons, her brothers, Gerald and Charlie Simmons and her sister, Beverly Johnson.
Memorials can be made in her name to The Brick, The New Day Advocacy, or to the Paralyzed American Vets. Or, if you prefer, light a candle for her in church, request a service in her memory, plant daisies (her favorite) in your garden, hang a hummingbird feeder, or just pour that neighborly cup of coffee and remember her with a smile in your heart.
Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to the Mountain Funeral Home and Cremation Services of Ashland and Mellen, WI.