Rebecca “Becky” Phillips, age 88, went to heaven, on March 12, 2022. She was born, July 22, 1933, in Madisonville, Tennessee, the daughter of Lawrence Edgar Graves & Rebecca Kate Sawyers Graves. Rebecca graduated from Madisonville High School and Hiwassee College. After graduating from Hiwassee College, she attended the University of Tennessee Knoxville where she majored in Biology. Rebecca went on to graduate from Cytology School as a Cyto-Technologist from the University of Tennessee Memphis. In 1957, she moved to Oak Ridge where she worked as a Cyto-Technologist at Methodist Medical Center until 1960. From 1960 to 1964, she worked at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the Biology Division. Rebecca met Dr. Harold Phillips in Oak Ridge and they married in 1962. Rebecca loved her family and was the proud mom of Teresa Icenhour and Heather Phillips. In 1973, she and her husband, Harold, and family moved to Ridgewood, N.J., where she joined the Ridgewood United Methodist Church and were active in many of their programs. Rebecca was always there to support her daughters and their many activities such as the Girl Scouts and school programs. In 1977, they moved to Princeton Junction, NJ.
She became a member of Princeton United Methodist Church where she served on the Board of Trustees and the Administrative Board. She was also a member of the Princeton Newcomers and Graduate Newcomers. One of the things she enjoyed doing was playing tennis with the West Windsor Tennis League for over ten years. While at Princeton Junction she was involved in her daughters’ many activities such as the high school marching band and swim team. In 1992, Harold retired and they returned to Oak Ridge, where Rebecca and Harold once again became members of First United Methodist Church where they were married in 1962 and their daughters, Teresa and Heather, were baptized. Rebecca participated in several activities and organizations after she arrived back in Oak Ridge including being a member of the First United Methodist Women’s circle, Oak Ridge Garden Club, and the Oak Ridge Woman’s Club, where she modeled at their spring luncheons.
Rebecca was preceded in death by sisters, Margaret Hyman, Helen Kirkland, and Deloris Clark; and brother Edgar Graves.
Survivors include husband of 59 years, Harold “Phil” Phillips; two daughters, Teresa Icenhour and Heather Phillips; son-in-Law, Alan Icenhour; two granddaughters, Melissa Icenhour Watkins and Abigail Icenhour Agentis; sister, Jean Rinehart; and several nieces & nephews.
Rebecca always valued and supported education. It was her desire for donations to go to Hiwassee College where she attended. However, since the College is now closed, donations may be made to another school she loved, Waynesburg University, where her husband Harold Phillips received his undergraduate degree in Chemistry. Online donations can be made in her honor at waynesburg.edu/giving.
The family will receive friends 2:30-3:30 pm Sunday, March 20, 2022, at First United Methodist Church of Oak Ridge. A funeral service will follow at 3:30 pm with Rev. Jenny Caughman officiating. Family and friends will meet at 11:30 am Monday, March 21, 2022, at Oak Ridge Memorial Park for interment. Online condolences may be left at www.weatherfordmortuary.com.
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