Patricia M. Philips
'||Patricia M. Philips, 90, passed away on Tuesday, March 17th, 2020 in Valparaiso, IN surrounded by
her loving family. |
Patricia is preceded in death by her husband
Carl B. Philips
, her sister, Lila Kurth, brother, Chuck Dethloff, grandson Samuel R. Philips, and
parents, Amal and Mary Dethloff.
Patricia is survived by her five children: Will Philips, Julienne (Joseph Jr.) Gee, Bob (Mary Kay) Philips,
Suzanne Jamieson (Rod Jamieson), and Douglas Philips (Rachel Minard); her grandchildren: Marissa
(Dan) Kopp and Joseph (Ellie) Gee III, Maggie and Kathryn Philips, Sarah and James Jamieson;
her great grandchildren: Charlie, Bennett and Edison Kopp, Hannah and Joseph Gee IV.; Patricia's
sister-in-law, Maxine Philips, and many cousins, nieces and nephews.
Patricia Maryann Sarah Dethloff was born on March 5, 1930 in Ponca City, Oklahoma to her German
parents, Amal and Mary Dethloff. The Dethloff's moved to Gary, Indiana where Patricia, Lila and
Chuck, attended Horace Mann High School. While attending high school, she took it upon herself
to start the women's intramural basketball League where she organized the league to play other
A few years later, Carl Philips visited a photographer's studio to pick up his officer's school graduation
portraits. Carl noticed Patricia's photo hanging on the wall in the studio next to his. The photographer
agreed to introduce Carl to Patricia. It was love at first sight. They were later married on July 29, 1950.
Patricia and Carl attended Indiana University together where they used each other's skills to benefit
their education. Carl would do Patricia's sewing homework while Patricia typed out Carl's papers,
complimenting each other's strengths.
Patricia and Carl were natural entrepreneurs, opening many businesses in Valparaiso, IN including
Pelican Service, Philips Ace Hardware, and Philips Gift Gallery. They shared two businesses with
Carl's brother and sister-in-law, Philip and Maxine; Philips Inc and Magnalease.
Patricia was a jack of all trades. By day, she was a business owner, handy-woman and teacher. She
instructed her children how to repair washers and dryers at Philips Laundry Leasing, worked closely
with her daughters at Magnalease, even repairing appliances herself. At night she was a homemaker,
mother and wife, ensuring dinner was on the table every night for her five children.
When Patricia and Carl started the hardware store Patricia decided there should be a gift department.
The Gift Gallery was the most successful department at Philips Ace. Patricia incorporated Fannie May
Candy (the only privately held Fannie May fresh candy counter in the world), Yankee Candle, and
Swarovski Crystal. Patricia became one of Red Skelton's few art dealers. It was later said that Red
Skelton made more money off his paintings then he did his entertainment career. Patricia's family
isn't at all surprised she took part in his success.
During the summers, Patricia and Carl would spend their time on Lake Maxinkuckee in Culver, IN.
She enjoyed participating in weekend sailboat races, traveling, fishing and camping.
The last few years of Patricia's life her daughter, Suzie, took it amongst herself to move in with her
mom to take care of Patricia full-time. Patricia wasn't only her mother, but became her best friend,
offering life advice such as, "You have to let it go. I would not be 90 years old if I didn't let things go."
If you look up the definition of "Saint", ("a very virtuous, kind, or patient person"), you'll find Patricia
was exactly that. She was kind, understanding, positive, and would always greet you with a smile.
She was patient, taking up to seven grandchildren at a time on vacation, teaching her children
how to fix a washing machine, win a sailing race, even teaching her sons new wrestling moves.
Patricia was there to support and coach you every step of the way. She was a true Saint, and just
in case you ever thought otherwise, she forever made sure you remembered her making her grand
exit on Saint Patty's Day.
Our mom will forever be our hero. She was always happy and saw things in a positive light. She
always had our backs and our best interest in mind. Mom was the backbone to our family. She
held everything and everyone together, teaching us to always put family first.
We love her so much and will miss her dearly. As she would say, "I'll see you maņana."
Per Patricia's wishes, services will be private. In lieu of flowers, Patricia would ask you to help
someone, listen to them, and show them you care. If you wish, donations can be made in Patricia's
name to Valparaiso Kiwanis Foundation for scholarships or charity of your choice. - Tribune from
Apr. 14 to Apr. 19, 2020