Eudora Louise Morris Phillips
Loving, patient, caring, teacher, volunteer
Eudora Louise Morris Phillips died December 13, 2023, in Meridian, Idaho. “Her family surrounded her with love as her spirit left the earth behind,” her family shared. She was 89 years old.
Louise, as she was always called, was born in Bowling Green, Ohio on August 17, 1934, to George Glenn and Helen Lincoln (Harvey) Morris. She was the second child in a family of six siblings. In 1943 she became the eldest child at the age of nine, when her older brother Joseph died. She attended primary schools in Bowling Green and was a baton majorette in high school. After graduation in 1952, she enrolled at Bowling Green State University where she was active in the Gamma Phi Beta sorority.
In 1956, after earning her BA in education, she accepted a position to teach elementary school in Sylvania, Ohio. The summer after receiving her degree, and before starting her teaching career, she traveled to California to visit her grandmother and renew a connection with her college sweetheart, Bob Phillips. The following summer, in 1957, she and Bob were married in Bowling Green. After their wedding, they traveled across the country together and made their home in Claremont.
There she took a job teaching elementary school in the Pomona Unified School District, and became active in the Pomona Junior Chamber of Commerce, in her local Gamma Phi Beta Alumnae chapter, and as a member of Claremont Presbyterian Church.
Their first child, Nancy, was born in 1960, the summer after her third year of teaching. At that time, she became a stay-at-home mom. The couple expanded their family with the birth of a son, Rob “Robby” in 1962, and another daughter, Mary in 1964.
She was a Girl Scout leader, an auxiliary volunteer at Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center, frequently sewed clothing and costumes for her children, made creative character birthday cakes for her own children as well as many of the neighbors, regularly made time for coffee with friends at her kitchen table, and was known for making delicious tacos for Phillips family taco nights.
When her children became older, she returned to substitute teaching and later accepted a part-time position as a reference librarian with the Ontario Public Library. Through the years she played tennis and golf, was an avid reader, took yoga classes, went for hikes and long walks with her friends, was the family navigator — with paper maps — on summer camping trips throughout the United States, and traveled the world with her husband, visiting many countries including Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Hungary, Germany, and Italy.
In 1999 the couple moved to Mission Viejo, California in order to be closer to their children and grandchildren. This move allowed them to regularly attend many of their grandchildren’s extracurricular performances and sporting events. She became a volunteer in the Orange County Public Library system and joined the Palmia Community Women’s Issues Committee. The couple celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in June 2017, prior to her husband’s death in October of that year.
She truly enjoyed staying active and in fact, until a stroke slowed her down in 2019, she walked two miles every day with her dog Arie around Rancho Santa Margarita Lake. In 2020, her steadfast spirit continued to prevail as she was diagnosed and became a breast cancer survivor at the age of 86. She moved to Idaho in 2021 where she lived near her youngest daughter until her death.
“Louise had a warm, beautiful smile, and was known to be an extraordinarily patient, generous, helpful, and kind person who was gentle, calm, and rarely upset,” her family noted. “She was always willing to give of her time and talents to support family and friends. Her nurturing and caring presence is already greatly missed.”
She was preceded in death by her husband Bob, brother Joseph, father George, mother Helen, and sister Lorain Croll.
She is survived by her children Nancy Louise Manix (Tom), Robert Scott Phillips (Susanne), and Mary Beth Newby (Rik); and grandchildren Andrew Thomas (Kaitlyn), Lauren Anne Louise, and Matthew Christian Manix; Austin Scott Phillips and Kathryn Nadine McWaters (Jack); Richard Arlen, Colin McCall, and Bryce Robert Newby.
In lieu of flowers, the family expressed a desire for those so inclined to make donations in memory of Louise Phillips to the Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center Auxiliary “Sick Baby Fund” at pvhmc.org/giving-support/ways-to-give, or by check to 1798 N. Garey Ave., Pomona, CA 91767.
A graveside memorial service will be held at noon on Friday, March 8 at Oak Park Cemetery, 410 Sycamore Ave., Claremont, CA 91711.