Obituary of Ellen P. Phillips
Ellen P. Phillips, 89 of Clinton, passed away at Lutheran Care on January 20, 2024, with her family at her side.
She was born on April 23, 1934, at Columbia – Presbyterian hospital in Manhattan, NY to William Keith and Ellen Walsh. Ellen was the youngest of two brothers, William and Terry, and a sister, Sheila. All of whom attended catholic schools while being raised in the Washington Heights neighborhood of the city. Although Ellen moved to Upstate NY in her late 20s, her love for the “Big Apple” remained. She and her family would often visit her hometown throughout her life, experiencing its many offerings and navigating its streets and subway system from an insider’s perspective and knowledge.
She was united in marriage to William “Bill” Phillips on February 13, 1960. They met while both were living in Jackson Beach, FL, and what started out as a friendship grew into a love of friends, laughter, and one another. Over the course of their courtship, Bill convinced her that his hometown of Clinton, NY was a village straight out of a Hollywood movie and would be a great place to live and raise a family. They eventually moved north and shared many happy years of marriage until Bill’s passing in 2011.
Ellen went back to school later in life to obtain her Registered Nurse’s license and practiced for over thirty years in area hospitals, most of which was the New York State Psychiatric Center, which she loved. She was a dedicated, compassionate psychiatric nurse, using her humor and natural ability to connect with people with all of her patients.
Ellen is survived by her two children and their spouses, Sheila and Joe Palumbo of Hawaii, and Terry Phillips and his partner Shelly Hearn of Clinton; two grandchildren, Jackson and Sadie Phillips; her daughter-in-law, Suzie Phillips; and many nieces and nephews who lovingly called her “Aunt Patsy.”
Anyone who knew Ellen knew what a special soul she was. She was a friend to all, and everyone that Ellen met came to love her. She had the ability to make everyone she met feel comfortable and special. So much so, that she could get a total stranger to tell her their life story within minutes of meeting. She shared her love freely and passed judgement on no one.
During her lifetime Ellen loved working in her flower gardens, reading, bird watching, dogs, and she most certainly loved traveling. She was a world traveler and visited many international destinations with her daughter Sheila. She and Bill spent several winters on the islands of Hawaii and Guam, visiting Sheila and Joe. She also had a love of music and dancing. She was the first on and the last off of every dance floor she met.
One of Ellen’s greatest joys in life were her Grandchildren Jackson and Sadie. She was a nontraditional grandmother to say the least. Bringing the kids on all sorts of adventures, resulting in funny stories to tell for years to come. Whether it involved car doors flying open while driving on the highway, teaching her young grandchildren the “dirty” lyrics to songs, or insisting that ice cream was the cure to all stomach aches, it was always a fun time with Grandma “Ellie.” Nonetheless, she was an extremely learned and cultured woman. Whether it was outdoing the contestants on her favorite show Jeopardy or sharing her knowledge of songbirds, flowers or Broadway musicals with her children and grandkids, Ellen always had answers thanks to a life lived to the fullest.
Graveside services and a celebration of life will be held at a later date to be announced.
Arrangements are being handled by Owens-Pavlot & Rogers Funeral Services, Clinton
In lieu of flowers, please consider donations in Ellen’s memory to Anita’s Steven Swan Humane Society