MARY JO PHILLIPS

Our dear sweet mother, Mary Jo Phillips passed away on March 25, 2016. She was 94. May she rest in peace. Mary Jo had a long and satisfying life. Born along the Red River and raised in Telephone, Texas, she grew up smart and a little sassy, playing basketball, graduating from North Texas State. She studied to become a teacher, which she did in Dallas in the mid ’40’s. The seductive lure of the skies led her to become a “hostess”, as they were then called, for Braniff Airways in Dallas. She was one attractive doll. While on vacation in Lima Peru, she met a handsome pilot, George Phillips, and after a courtship, they were married in 1950. Hostesses were required to be single, so Mary Jo turned her attention to first Hula dancing, or at least living, on Oahu while George performed his Marine Corp reserve duties in Korea. She returned to Dallas with George flying now for Braniff and was a charter member of the Clipped B’s, an association of retired Braniff flight attendants. She began her family with George, bringing three boys into the world, George Jr., Mike and Ben, giving each of them the strong love, affection, and support that all children need to thrive. This was a lifelong and lasting gift that she gave her sons and their families. It is hard to imagine a better mother and wife. She always had our backs. She often told us of her love for us. She was always fair and honest in everything she did, inspiring all around her in what it means to be a decent and kind human being. Mary Jo was also strong. It took a strong woman to manage the stretches when her husband was away on flights, sometimes for a week at a time. And it took a strong woman to ‘manage’ Col. Phillips as we sometimes called George Sr. She did it with grace and power. It also took a strong woman to get past the loss of her youngest son, Ben, and her husband of more than sixty years during her last decade of life. Yet she was always the gracious hostess, making everyone feel comfortable in her presence, all the way to the end. We will miss you, Mary Jo. Mary Jo was a member of the Webb Chapel Church of Christ and is survived by two sons and their wives, George N. Phillips, Jr . and Tracey L. Smith of Houston and James Michael Phillips and Leslie Phillips of Montgomery, Texas,; her daughter in-law, Lynn Phillips of Dallas, and four grandchildren; Scott R. Phillips of Austin, Jonathan R. Phillips of Madison, Wisconsin, and Payton M. Phillips and Avery C. Phillips of Dallas. A graveside service will be held at Forest Grove Cemetery, Telephone, Texas at 3 PM on Monday, March 28, 2016. In lieu of flowers, please give to your favorite charity.