Irene Phillips passed away peacefully with her family by her side on January 17, 2020 after an active and fulfilled life. She was born on December 4, 1927 on the family farm in the Hazelcliffe area. She was the oldest of 7 children of Wilbert and Alice Bradley. From a young age, she developed a sense of responsibility to the family, the family farm and the community where she lived.
In her early years she attended a one room schoolhouse and completed high school in Tantallon. The Bradley’s put a priority on education, so Irene attended Teachers College, following in her mother’s footsteps. Her first teaching assignment was in Colfax where she met Delbert Phillips, a young soldier just home from the war.
Irene and Delbert were married October 19, 1949 and moved to Regina, where Gary, Glen and Lorna were born. Del worked for Imperial Oil while Irene filled in as a substitute teacher. In 1962 the family moved to Esterhazy where Del and Irene operated the Imperial Oil bulk agency. Under Irene ‘s watchful eye, as office manager and bookkeeper, the business flourished.
In 1974 Del and Irene pursued their dream of buying a farm in the Hazelcliffe area. Again they worked side by side, renovating an old Eaton’s house, raising cattle and farming the land. Irene finally had some time to pursue her passions of gardening and sewing. Her sewing machine was still humming into her 90’s. The grandchildren, great grandchildren and nieces and nephews all received hand made baby blankets and bibs. She sewed items of clothing for herself and her family and mended worn out favourites. She was a ready and willing volunteer to help organize family and community celebrations. Major anniversaries were commemorated with carefully made family albums of poetry and pictures and celebrated with big, home cooked family meals. A visit to Irene’s always included fresh cookies, cinnamon buns or apple pie with a cup of tea.
In the early 1980’s, Del and Irene purchased a winter residence in Arizona and spent many happy winters there. They enjoyed traveling to visit family. One of Irene’s favourites was a trip shared with brother, Lorne and wife Sheila to visit her brother, Bob and his wife Faye in Africa with stops in Holland and Egypt.
After Del’s passing in 1998, Irene moved into Esterhazy where she continued to be active with family and volunteering. She was a member of the United Church Women, served on the church board, delivered Meals on Wheels and volunteered her time for Cansurmount. Irene was wholeheartedly devoted to her family, friends and church.
Irene found joy in simple pleasures in life, such as watching bluebirds and hummingbirds, the first crocuses blooming on the Qu’Appelle Valley, growing a garden and sharing the new potatoes, fresh tomatoes and corn. She took interest and great pride in the achievements of her children and grandchildren. She loved to share the quirky expressions of the little ones. She enjoyed big family gatherings and casual get togethers, always full of laughter and story telling. She was fiercely independent, resilient and proudly lived life on her terms in her own home into her 90’s.
She was predeceased by her husband Delbert, her brothers Wesley (in infancy) and Bob Bradley and sister, Marie Forst and brother-in-law, Allen Forst.
She will be lovingly remembered by her children Gary (Iris), their sons Devon (Kirsten) and Mark (Krea); Glen (Brenda) and their sons Dennis (Karine) and Darcy (Erin); Lorna (Dean) and her daughters Christy (Nathan) and Jen (Mike); great grandchildren: Keaton, Hadley, Liam, Brynn, Zayde, Anthony, Alex, Olivia, Rachel, Logan and Juliette and siblings Rae (Marie), Lorne (Sheila), Lyle (Elaine) and sister-in-law Faye and numerous nieces and nephews.
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St. Andrew's United Church
-, Esterhazy SK S0A 0X0
St. Anthony's Hospital Foundation
Esterhazy SK S0A 0X0