Obituary of Marilyn Phillips
The family of Marilyn Phillips is deeply saddened to announce her passing on January 1, 2024.
Marilyn is preceded in death by her parents, and survived by three children, four adult grandchildren, and a great-grandson. She is also survived by her younger brother, a nephew, and two nieces.
Marilyn was an adventurous soul. At a young age she decided to branch out by moving from a small midwestern farm town to a bigger city, where she met her husband, Bob Phillips.
Marilyn transitioned to the “big city” life quite naturally, and surprisingly for a farm-girl. She juggled raising three children, all the while keeping up with the many social engagements requisite of the spouse of an ad man. She was an avid stitcher, and was well-known in needlepoint circles around town, often tagging along with her mother-in-law. She loved spending time with her dear friends; ordering steak sandwiches for family dinner nights on Sundays; and, creating her fondest memories at the “Farm,” as the family called their residence when it was still surrounded by mostly pastureland.
Marilyn was also resourceful. At age 60, she moved to the west coast to be closer to her daughter and grandchildren. After finding it difficult to find an affordable place to live, she researched options and found a program that connected seniors in rent-controlled apartments with other seniors looking for affordable places to live. It was through that program Marilyn made fast friends with her new roommate, and their friendship blossomed over the next 10 years of living together.
During her time on the west coast, Marilyn was featured in a mainstream newspaper article about her experience with the senior matching program, was a guest on a syndicated morning show, and was the subject of an article in her former hometown’s local magazine. When not being highlighted in the media, she worked at an upscale boutique, while training to be a caregiver. She eventually left the boutique when she found employ with the owners and operators of a legendary restaurant, to care for the family matriarch. Her experience there would come in handy when she returned to her former stomping grounds, where she nannied for children of several prominent families and was a hired companion for others.
That was Marilyn. A celebrated figure wherever she went or lived, with all the humility that came from growing up on a midwestern farm.
Her resourcefulness didn't end on the west coast, though. In her 70’s, after moving back eastwardly, she became frustrated by the limited options available to seniors for carting groceries, dirty laundry, and various objects in and out of their apartments. Undeterred, she sketched a diagram onto a napkin of what she thought would be a perfect cart, and it later became a senior class project for the local private university’s mechanical engineering students three years in a row. When wheeling the resulting prototypes around her apartment complex, residents would ask her where she got “that great cart!”
Influenced by the teaching of Norman Vincent Peale, and an ardent fan of Dr. Schuller’s Hour of Power, Marilyn was always the optimist. She never fixated on the negative, choosing rather to focus on the positive, regardless of her circumstances. She encouraged her children to do the same and shared many words of wisdom over the last few years, such as, “We have so many good memories, there’s no reason to remember the bad.” A favorite was when she replied, “That’s a good note to end the day on, no one should end their day on a bad note,” after being told she was loved.
Marilyn never ended ANY day on a bad note, and left behind only the fondest of memories with everyone who knew her!
Just weeks preceding her death, upon hearing how the Bible describes what Heaven will be like in Revelation 21:4 “God will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain.", Marilyn replied, “That’s such a pleasant thought.”
Heaven’s more than just a pleasant thought for Marilyn now, and a better place since she arrived.
A private family memorial service will be held this Spring/Summer.
In remembrance of Marilyn, contributions may be made to the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center's Willed Body Program. Make donations payable to the OU Foundation, in memory of Marilyn, and mail to:
Willed Body Program, BSEB 138, PO Box 26901, Oklahoma City, OK 73126-0901
Ninde Funeral | Mosaic Memorial Cremation (918) 742-5556 | ninde.com