Published 4:32 pm Friday, April 29, 2016
Winifred Phillips, known by most of her friends and family as “Winnie,” passed away on April 27 in Jacksonville, Fla. Born in Melville, La. on Aug. 13, 1931, she was 84 at the time of her passing. Her parents were Zeno Stringfellow Sr. and Ethel Mae (Lee) Stringfellow.
She was raised in McKenzie, Ala., in Butler County from the age of four. She graduated from McKenzie High School 1949 and went on to study nursing at St. Margaret’s Hospital in Montgomery, Ala. She graduated as a registered nurse in 1951.
She started her nursing career at Stabler’s Hospital in Greenville, Ala. Then she met and married Billy R. Phillips, also from McKenzie, in 1951. She and Billy started their marriage by moving to Savannah, Ga., where Billy started his career after graduation from Auburn University in 1950 and completing another tour of duty in the Army during the Korean Conflict. Winnie continued her nursing career at St. Joseph’s Hospital in both Savannah and Augusta, Ga., after she and Billy moved to Augusta following Billy’s career. Finally Winnie and Billy settled in Mobile, Ala., in 1953 when Billy took a new job with McKesson Drug. Winnie then started working at Providence Hospital in the delivery room. Winnie worked at Providence until 1963, interrupted only by the birth of her three children. She then started working in geriatric nursing and worked at three different nursing homes in Mobile as director of nursing; Shady Pines, Lynwood, and Apollo Nursing Homes until 1981. With the opening of a new hospital in West Mobile, Knollwood Hospital, she went back to nursing in the hospital and worked as a med/surg nurse until she retired in 2003.
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After retirement from nursing, she did not really retire from an active work and volunteer life. She started volunteering at Lighthouse free-clinic and day a week and worked part-time in the nursery for her church home, Kingswood United Methodist Church. Winnie was also active in the church with the food pantry for the poor and spent many happy hours working in the Blue Lake Methodist Retreat camp health clinic for different youth group camps. In the last two years of her life she lived in Jacksonville, Fla., to be closer to family.
Winnie was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; her son, Edward Clay Phillips; and her brother Zeno Stringfellow Jr. She is survived by sister, Elsie Jarrett (Russ); her two sons, Timothy Ray Phillips (Bo) and Perry Lee Phillips (Julie); and her seven grandchildren, Tiffany Phillips Nichole Phillips, Cameron Phillips (Rachel), T.R. Phillips (Jackie), Cooper Phillips, Taylor Phillips and Tyne Phillips. Winnie also had three great-grandchildren and one more on the way. Winnie is also survived by several nephews, nieces, and many friends.
Graveside services celebrating Winnie’s life will be held at the Wesley Chapel Methodist Church in Industry, Ala., in Butler County on Saturday, April 30 at 10:30 a.m. The Rev. Joe Reams of Kingswood United Methodist Church will be officiating. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Kingswood United Methodist Church or the American Cancer Society.