Elaine Phillips

Obituary of Elaine Elizabeth Phillips


Elaine (Teddy) Elizabeth Del Ray Phillips (1926 – 2021)

Elaine (Teddy) Phillips, Pine, Arizona, passed away in Payson, Arizona on December 8, 2021, after complications from sinus surgery.  She had just celebrated her 95th birthday with family and friends in June.

Teddy was born in Lewiston, Minnesota on June 21,1926, to Bert Del Ray and Ruth Hicks.  Her parents divorced when she was two.  In her early years she would live with her mother and Grandma and Grandpa Hicks near Lake Winona during the school months and the Del Ray farm in Lewiston in the summer.

At the young age of 3, the nation and world plummeted into the Great Depression.  She would spend the rest of her childhood with very little.  It was through great sacrifice and hard work that both families survived this most difficult time.  As a child, with her best friend and sister Gerry, she explored the hills, caves and lakes near their home.  Every day was an adventure.  Throughout her life, she would enthusiastically share these adventures with her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Teddy attended Lincoln grade school in Winona.  When she was 9 her mother married Al Fagre and at ten, she moved to St. Cloud, Minnesota with Al, her mother and her baby brother Richard (Dick).  She attended Catholic mass on her own as often as possible, did odd jobs to help the family and attended St. Cloud Jr. High and High School.

When Teddy was 15, in the middle of her Sophomore Year, the country went to war and Al was drafted into the defense corps and was assigned to work at the Richmond, California shipyards.  A year later, she and her mother and brother joined him and she finish high school at San Leandro High in 1944.

On July 15, 1944 she met her “dream man,” Edward LaVern Phillips.  “Vern” as she called him and Teddy were married 3 ½ months later in Reno, Nevada on October 29.  It was an eternal love that would last on earth for 61 years.  Their first boy, Stephen Edward was born “9 months, 10 days, 11 hours and 45 minutes later.”  He was followed by David Thomas and Jason Evin.  After 5 years living in the Bay Area, they moved to Leta Lane in Sacramento where they would live for the next 47 years.

Teddy joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in September 1953.  She served mightily in many different callings for over 70 years.  Most often you would find her decorating for a party or planning a menu for a major event.   

After working at Wells Fargo Bank as a teller for several years, she worked at the California State Employment Office in downtown Sacramento for over 30 years.  She loved her work and became proficient at interviewing job candidates, a skill she took with her to her personal life.  If you ever had the chance to meet Teddy, she would have you talking about yourself within a minute, and after 10 minutes she knew your life story and you were friends for life.

Teddy and Vern moved to Sun Lakes, Arizona in 2000 when Vern was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.  He left her side on August 17, 2005 and has been anxiously awaiting their reunion.

In 2011, Teddy sold her Sun Lakes home and moved to Pine, Arizona to live with her youngest son Jason and his wife Tammy.  Together they built a magnificent home.  Teddy was in her 80’s when she moved and remained active in life.  You could find her playing cards every Wednesday with her friends, in the Pine Museum as a docent, or at church in the LDS Pine Ward serving on any and all committees. 

Her greatest love was her family and that includes her extended family.  Teddy, mothered many that she did not give birth to, nurturing them physically as well as mentally. 

She is survived by her two living sons, David, San Tan Valley, Az and Jason, Pine, Az and their wives, whom she always referred to as “her daughters”, Jane and Tammy, six grandchildren, Todd, Jesse, Eric, Keith, Tori and Kelsey, and nineteen great grandchildren, who affectionately called her "GG". She was preceded in death by her parents, Bert Del Ray, Ruth Fagre, Al Fagre, husband Edward LaVern, sister Geraldine Bates, granddaughter Tori Elizabeth Phillips and great granddaughter Mila Casey Phillips.

Funeral Services will be Saturday, December 18, at the Pine Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 4159 N. Hwy 87, Pine, Az 85544.  Public viewing 10 am – 10:45, Services at 11:00.  Internment,12:30 pm, Monday December 20, National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona.

Flowers can be arranged through Rim Country Flowers & Gifts.  Donations can be given to Children’s Brain Tumor Foundation, cbtf.org.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Elaine Phillips, please visit Tribute Store

Public Viewing

10:00 am - 10:45 am
Saturday, December 18, 2021
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
4159 N. Hwy 87
Pine , Arizona, United States

Funeral Service

11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Saturday, December 18, 2021
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
4159 N Hwy 89
Pine, Arizona, United States


12:30 pm - 1:00 pm
Monday, December 20, 2021
National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona
23029 N. Cave Creek Rd.
Phoenix, Arizona, United States