Sandra Phillips

May 12, 1940 - January 25, 2016
Grand Rapids, MI



Tuesday, February 2, 2016
10:00 AM to 11:00 AM EST
Wallin Congregational Church
1550 Otsego NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504


Tuesday, February 2, 2016
11:00 AM to 12:00 PM EST
Wallin Congregaional Church
1550 Otsego NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504


At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

Wallin Church
1550 Oswego St.
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
(616) 453-5461
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


With a life that spanned times of great change in the world around her, Sandra Phillips was a blessing in the lives of everyone she met. She was never one to worry about the things she had, rather, her focus was on making the most of the moments she was given while being surrounded by the ones she loved. Sandra was a loving and devoted mother who was the heartbeat of her family, and there was nothing that she loved more than being together on Christmas. Life was not without times of trial for her, but she was strong and courageous in everything that came her way. Deeply loved, Sandra will be forever missed.

The 1930s were some of the most trying days we have faced as a nation as the entire decade was cloaked in the hardship of the Great Depression. Although we still had much ground to cover, things were at least moving in the right direction when the calendar turned to welcome in the 1940s. In many ways it was the calm before the storm because although WWII was raging on overseas, America was not involved until the attack on our naval base in Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, changed the landscape of our nation forever. It was just as this decade was dawning that Bernard and Mary Ellen (Fawcett) were filled with unspeakable joy as they welcomed a healthy baby girl into their hearts and home on May 12, 1940, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Named Sandra Jeanne, she was one of three children in her family and was raised in the family home on the West Side of Grand Rapids. In fact, she lived on the West Side throughout her entire life. Sandra was a typical young girl of her generation and attended local schools. She established many important friendships that would remain a vital part of her life throughout her entire journey. Sandra also took dance lessons while growing up.

After graduating from Union High School in 1958, Sandra was eager for all that life had in store. She married and was blessed with two sons, Brent and Bryan. Although she later divorced, Sandra was forever grateful for the sons they shared. As mothers go, she was an active part of her sons’ lives. One of their favorite things to do was to take their pop-up camping to Brower Park during the summer. Sandra also spent more than 30 years working at Michigan Bell. At noontime, it was common for she and a co-worker to tap dance on the floors at the Keeler Building.

New and exciting changes were in store for Sandra when she met Charles “Bill” Phillips at work. They began dating, and with a desire to spend the rest of their lives together Sandra and Bill were married at Wallin Church in 1976. He had seven children of his own, but most were grown and living on their own by that time. The newlyweds enjoyed a honeymoon in Chicago, and they returned home to begin their life together as husband and wife. One of Sandra’s favorite things was to cook and bake for her family. She looked forward to Christmas every year and always hosted the party. Christmas dinner was something to remember, yet she also enjoyed eating out. When it came to her own favorites, Sandra never met a piece of key lime pie that she didn’t like.

Throughout her life Sandra enjoyed pursuing her interests. She and Bill liked pulling their travel trailer town to Florida for a couple of weeks, and it was Sandra who co-captained her brother Bob’s boat on its 14 day journey from South Haven to Clearwater, Florida. This was a memorable trip that took 14 days to complete. When she was able, Sandra loved going to the casino and playing video poker and video keno. She did quite well, too, as she earned at least one trip to Las Vegas where she stayed at Caesar’s Palace. With a love for the arts she enjoyed volunteering at Circle Theatre, and she and her friends often got together for their painting club. Sandra was a lifetime member of Wallin Church as well as a longtime collector of antique glass and china. She had quite an extensive collection of dishes and vases as well as Christmas tree pins. Later in life, Sandra and Bill moved to Lincoln Square Retirement Community. In 2005, she suffered a stroke that affected her left side and slowed her down some.

All who knew Sandra Phillips would agree that she was truly beautiful on the inside and out. Whether she was raising her sons, co-captaining a boat on a 14 day journey, or serving others in some way, she did it with grace, strength, and courage. Sandra was deeply devoted to the people and things she believed in, and she was content in everything life brought. She leaves behind a priceless collection of memories that her loved ones will forever cherish.