Leona “Lee” Phillips

Leona Jeanette “Lee” Phillips, age 88 of Ocala, Florida, formerly of River Falls died as a result of an auto accident July 16, 2019 in Georgia while traveling with her husband. Lee was born on October 5, 1930 in Sacred Heart, Minnesota; the daughter of Herman and Elsie (Dehnel) Baumgart. She was raised in the Siren/Luck area prior to graduating from high school in Milltown. She would further her education at the University of Wisconsin River Falls.

As a young lady, she worked at the Candy Kitchen in River Falls and later at Armours Meat Packing Plant in South St. Paul. During this time, she would meet a young, charming man whom she would fall in love with. On May 28, 1950, she was united in marriage to Richard W. Phillips at the United Methodist Church in River Falls. This union would be further blessed with three children; Gregory, Gwen, and Nancy. Dick began a long rewarding career with IBM in the computer science profession, which required them to travel. They lived in St. Paul, New York, Detroit, Pittsburg, Holland, Germany, and Austria. Most recently, they reside in Florida following retirement. During most of these sojourns in the US, Lee actively pursued her life-long career as a real estate agent.

Lee loved being outside. She thoroughly enjoyed gardening, especially her prized chrysanthemums. She loved animals, as they had a hobby farm where she was able to teach her kids the value of hard work caring for their steers and horses through 4H. Lee was vivacious and full of life. She will be remembered for her sharp, quick witted sense of humor. She loved being surrounded by her family.

Lee will remain in the hearts of her husband of 69 years, Richard; her children and their spouses, Gregory and his wife Cheryl Phillips of Silver Springs, Florida, Gwen Barger of Houston, Texas, Nancy and her husband Louis Rossi of Poughkeepsie, NY; grandchildren, Deanna Phillips, Justin Phillips, Matthew Barger, Andrea Barger, Cyrena Barger, Nicole Rossi, Angela Rossi, and Julia Rossi.

A Celebration of Life for Leona “Lee” Phillips will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, September 21st at the O’Connell-Benedict Family Funeral Home, 225 South 3rd Street in River Falls. Interment will be in the Greenwood Cemetery in River Falls. This Celebration of Life service has been entrusted to the O’Connell-Benedict Family Funeral Home of River Falls. 715-425-5644


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