Mary Elizabeth Phillips
Mary Elizabeth “Liz” Phillips, age 83, of Berkeley Springs, W.Va., was peacefully cradled in the arms of our Lord on Friday, June 2, 2023 at War Memorial Hospital Extended Care Facility.
Born February 13, 1940 in Berkeley Springs, W.Va., she was the daughter of the late Lester Woodrow and Lola Mae Sheppard Penwell.
She was a member of First United Methodist Church. Liz was a graduate of Berkeley Springs High School. She worked as a paralegal secretary with U.S. Silica and retired after 40 years of service. Liz was a member of the Morningside CEOS, Morgan County Red Hat Society and Morgan County Starting Points. She enjoyed shopping, gardening, cooking and taking care of animals.
A woman of tremendous compassion, Liz was never without a kind gesture to those in need and dedicated her life to being a “giver” not a “taker.” Some would say Liz held strong opinions for what she found to be “true” in her convictions and that she was.
Liz so enjoyed the love of her pets, cooking for her family at every holiday, and giving out the biggest and best candies each Halloween in her subdivision. So much, that she would often order in bulk just to make sure every child who knocked on the door never walked away without a wide-eyed smile. It was through these simple acts of kindness that brought Liz great joy and a purpose-driven life. Liz could often be heard singing at the top of her lungs while listening to her “Fabulous 50’s” radio station. Her love of music and tenderness of heart was always realized during her favorite holiday, Christmas. She never knew a stranger that was not welcome at her table for a meal, often making sure that anyone and everyone around the dinner table did not leave without a Tupperware dish of leftovers and a hug. To this day, we will remember the smell of food cooking days in advance and in some cases, reminding her to take the warmed marshmallow sweet potatoes out of the microwave before the meal had ended.
Liz was not without hardship in her life, like most of us. Albeit she was “country strong,” never complained, and always found her way through life’s most complex challenges. Her giving nature and warm heart found its way to all those she touched. Whether it was a box of home baked warm cookies hand delivered to the mail route carrier, the extra $20 in a gift card to the propane delivery driver, or the 5 extra boxes of Girl Scout cookies she would buy to not disappoint when the doorbell would ring. Liz filled an important part of what we call “life” and all things leading up to our final departure from this earth. She was a gift that will be forever held in the hearts of those who crossed her path.
Liz is survived by her son, Jeffrey Tod Phillips of Berkeley Springs, her four siblings, Joyce Youngblood, Judith McBee and Richard “Ike” Penwell, all of Berkeley Springs and Ronald Penwell of Martinsburg, W.Va. and many nieces and nephews.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Herman Orville “Phil” Phillips, Jr., and one brother, Lester Steve Penwell.
Graveside services will be conducted at 11 a.m. on Friday, June 9, 2023 at Greenway Cemetery, 284 Greenway Drive, Berkeley Springs, W.Va. Pastor Joshua Rider will be officiating.
The family will receive friends from 4-6 p.m. on Thursday, June 8, 2023 at Helsley-Johnson Funeral Home & Cremation Center, 95 Union Street, Berkeley Springs, W.Va.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in Liz’s memory may be made to War Memorial Hospital Extended Care Facility Resident Fund, c/o Shawna Athey, 1 Healthy Way, Berkeley Springs, WV or to Cacapon TNR, PO Box 794, Great Cacapon, WV 25422.
Online condolences may be expressed at www.helsley johnsonfh.com.