Jo Ann Hershey Phillips (84) of Colorado Springs, passed away after a lengthy illness on October 6, 2023, in the company of her husband of 62 years. Her struggle ended peacefully in her sleep. She was a loving wife, mother, daughter, and sister and will be missed by all who knew her. She was born on July 26, 1939, in Knoxville, Tennessee.
She met Kenneth L. Phillips in the Southern Illinois University’s marching symphonic band in Carbondale, Illinois; she on her snare drum and he on the clarinet. They were soon married on October 5, 1961, and started a family. Jo Ann was a supportive Army wife and mother of two children: Tammy Phillips (Steve Watkins) and Terry Phillips (Jeannie Phillips) as well as her beloved dogs. Being an Army wife, she was our very own wonder woman, as she often had to manage the entire household and finances while daddy was on temporary duty assignments. In addition, she had to manage all the various moves that came with being an Army family. She was our very own nurse, mother, cook, cleaner, bill payer and all-around caretaker, all while working and tending to everyone’s needs. Jo Ann trained as a lab tech and worked in that field for many years while managing a household and raising their children. When she was presented with her first and only grandchild, she assisted in his daycare in his first year. There is no better babysitter than a loving grandma.
Jo Ann was an amazing cook and took great pride in her many culinary creations, there wasn’t much she couldn’t copy from a restaurant or create from an adjusted recipe. She was very creative and enjoyed gardening, landscaping, painting, and pottery. She filled her home with beautiful plants along with handmade macrame hangers for them. She learned a love of gardening and fresh vegetables from her parents. Jo Ann always had a large vegetable garden and beautiful flowers growing around the house. She also enjoyed swimming and swam laps every week. Jo Ann and her husband travelled extensively and took numerous cruises. She loved visiting Tahiti, Hawaii and all the other tropical destinations. She had a deep love of the ocean and visited as often as she could, whether it was a trip to the beach or a more extensive cruise.
She leaves to mourn her death; her husband, Kenneth Phillips; her daughter, Tammy Phillips and husband, Steve Watkins; and her grandson, Thomas Watkins; as well as her niece, Linda Barrett; and nephew, James Robinson.
She is preceded in death by her parents, Dallas and Dorothy Hershey; her son, Terry Phillips and his wife, Jeannie; and her sister, Elaine Robinson.
Private arrangements have been made and the family will enjoy a private service at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to St. Jude Children’s Hospital (www.stjude.org/donate)