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Delma Lucille Phillips

August 9, 1923 - April 7, 2014-


Delma PhillipsDelma Phillips passed away peacefully at the home of her daughter in Madras, April 7, 2014 at the age of 90. Her remarkable life began August 9, 1923 in Walla Walla, Wash., the youngest of six sisters and one younger brother. The family settled in Longview, where she was raised.

Delma was a popular and talented student at Kelso High School where she was a majorette with the marching band and loved to sing and dance. After graduating from beauty school, she worked in Seattle and San Francisco. She was proud to be the first woman from Longview to serve her county in the Women’s Army Corp during World War II.

Tragically her fiance, a navy pilot stationed in Hawaii, was killed in a plane crash. His roommate wrote her a letter of condolence and they continued to correspond for the next year. After a brief meeting in Memphis, Tenn., she became engaged to Lt. Chester “Phil” Phillips and they were married in Hutchison, Kan. On October 1, 1944. Stationed in Pensacola, Florida, Delma and Phil loved to play golf. Their first child, Dennis, was born just after she finished a round of golf, playing just behind her obstetrician they all headed off to the hospital! Two daughters, Susan and Laurie were added to the family a few years later after the Korean War. When Phil completed his military career, the family moved to Seahurst, Wash. Where sadly their toddler daughter Laurie died in an accident. Her husband of 35 years also passed away May 14, 1977.

It is said that tragedy can make us bitter or better, we must choose. Fortunately, Delma chose to live her life as she always had with love and kindness to all. During this hard time in her life, she began to search for greater meaning and purpose. That search ended in a little church in Maple Valley, Wash., where she opened her heart to her Savior, Jesus Christ. Her faith became the center of her life and sustained through the rest of her life.

After Phil’s death, Delma moved from her country home in Maple Valley to be near her sister and best friend, Lillian, who lived in West Seattle. She had the energy of ten people. Delma was always on the go! Her coworkers at her job, as a school secretary, became life-long friends. Her family was always first priority, which meant another move back to Longview to be near them and then on to Madras with her daughters family. Delma made friends everywhere she lived and several beloved church families, including Cornerstone Baptist Church in Madras.

She loved the natural beauty of Central Oregon, exploring this area on many road trips. Delma was involved in many activities including her bowling league, golf, gardening, birding, volunteering at the Madras Gospel Mission and lunching with friends. On her 85th birthday, she wanted to go white water rafting! Always up for an adventure, we had a wonderful day on the river.

Waiting to see her again in heaven, is her brother and sister-in-law, Jack and Jean Williams of Spokane, Wash.; son, Dennis Phillips of Whidbey Island; daughter and son-in-law, Susan and Dr. Leo Savage of Madras; grandchildren, Mandy and Kelli Phillips; Joy and Stephen Savage; beloved cousin/sister Norma Samp; and all her dear family and friends.

Services will be held with great joy at Cornerstone Baptist Church, May 3, at 3 p.m. with a barbeque following.