Lois Phillips died Friday, May 13, 2022 at CentraCare - St. Cloud Hospital at the age of 96.
Memorial services will be held on Saturday, May 21, 2022 at 11:00 AM at the United Methodist Church in Montevideo. Pastor Sam Kautz will officiate and interment will be at Terrace Lawn Memory Gardens. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the services at the church.
A celebratory gathering will take place Friday evening at Topper's Warehouse starting at 5:30 PM.
Lois Evelyn (Mackey) Phillips was born June 30, 1925 in Butte, MT the daughter of Thomas and Evelyn (Smith) Mackey. She grew up and attended school in Salmon, ID. Lois was united in marriage to Paul Phillips on October 19, 1943 in Bremerton, WA. After his discharge from the Navy in 1946, they moved to Montevideo. Lois was an adventurous woman who was not afraid to take on new challenges. Naming all her adventures in her 96 years would fill a book.
Lois developed many life-long friendships over the years. A particular group of friends gathered since first meeting in Montevideo in 1949. This group of life-long friends was appropriately called The Jolly Six Pack. Lois was an entrepreneur and a salesperson at heart. She worked at the JC Penney store and the Pamida store in Montevideo before deciding she wanted to be her own boss. She opened The Jean Shack on main street in the mid-1970's and there she became a dear friend to her customers and her downtown business associates. She took it upon herself to learn how to shop at market and she could sell an outfit to anyone who walked in the door. She didn't stay still very long after the store closed. Lois and her daughter Pat soon opened a fitness center (she had no fitness center experience, but she was often ahead of her time). Following the fitness center, she was offered a job selling mobile homes. She had no experience or knowledge of mobile homes, but she became pretty good at it and gained many new friends through that experience. From there she settled on her career at KDMA radio station selling advertising. She brought her vast skill set in selling to the radio business and was a favorite salesperson among both her co-workers and her clients. She drove all over the state selling; amassing quite a few speeding tickets, walked in a hundred parades, worked countless events outside of her daily job, and was down to help wherever needed. Eventually Lois was offered a spot on Tuesday mornings with the daytime radio host, Dwight. This show quickly became a local favorite. They covered all topics, usually talking about her family which we quickly learned to accept. She talked about her own adventures, her childhood days in the mountains, and how she couldn't really cook but tried. She related to everyone who tuned in. Lois worked in radio until the late 1990's. She didn't slow down after her retirement from the station, however. Lois worked part time as a PCA for Avenues for Care and volunteered helping at many events.
Lois was also very dedicated to the VFW and was president of VFW Auxiliary for several years. She was a long-time member of the Montevideo Admirals and proudly welcomed new businesses to Montevideo. She knew the effort it takes to open a business and was quick to acknowledge those efforts. All her adventures led her to people, and it was people she met along this long journey that gave her joy. Lois' superpower was her intense sense of humor. She wielded its power to capture the hearts of everyone she met. Her humor could be subtle, or result in flat out belly laughter, but her ability to be joyful was surely what she will be remembered for most.
She is survived by three daughters: Peggy (Lindsay) Little of Grand Marais, Jodi Phillips of Montevideo, and Shelly (Tim) Elkington of Montevideo; 11 grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren; 6 great-great grandchildren, and a number of nieces and nephews.
Preceding her in death were her parents; her husband, Paul on December 10, 2011; four children: Mary Ellen Phillips in infancy, Peter Phillips, Patricia Tanhoff; and Thomas Phillips; three grandchildren: Jennifer Phillips, Casey Jo Schulte, and Mark Tanhoff; a sister, Janice Walker; and a brother, Tom Mackey.