Lillian Ann Sanson Phillips

Lillian Ann Sanson Phillips, 73, passed away Tuesday, May 22, 2018, in Sunrise Assisted Living in Chicago. 

Lillian was born during World War II at 11:25 p.m. Dec. 30, 1944, followed by her twin brother George a half hour later. She was named after her Grandmother Lillie Wolfer Johnson Moore. Her brother’s arrival was a surprise, necessitating her father to run out and buy an extra blanket to take the twins home.

Lillian loved living in Lafayette and spending time with her family and later her grandchildren at her home of almost 40 years on the corner of 18th and Larue. She took a humble joy in talking to everyone in town while out running errands, spending time with her neighbors, and helping anyone she met in need.

While growing up on Ball Street and attending Linwood Elementary, Lillian later wrote many stories about the simple pleasures of the time. She was a 1963 graduate of Jefferson High School and maintained lifelong friends from this era.

In 1966 while working as a clerk at Shopper’s Fair a young, handsome security guard named Fred asked her to show him her hands on the counter. Turns out he just wanted to see if she was single and if she had a ring on that special finger. On Oct. 8, 1967, they were married and spent 47 years together. They were known by many in Lafayette, her for her kind heart and he for his political commentary on current events.

Lillian was a homemaker but always kept herself busy with various small jobs around town. She was a “lunch lady” while her children attended Oakland Elementary and developed a great bond with all of the ladies she worked with through those years. She also was a crossing guard on the corner near her home, safely greeting and guiding the neighborhood children to school until 2015.

In 1999 she became a member of the General de Lafayette Chapter of the Daughter’s of the American Revolution, holding the position of Good Citizen Chairman for several years.

Lillian always enjoyed spending time at the family farm in Clinton County, as she considered herself a naturalist and loved being outdoors in the country. For many years she would help tend to the farm for her aging parents and work on refinishing pieces of antique furniture acquired from old farm sales with her father William. Lillian started making grapevine wreaths foraged from treks in the woods with her father. Her children started referring to her as the “Grapevine Lady” as well as many who enjoyed her small, natural creations.

After Fred’s passing, Lillian spent the next year and a half traveling and living with her three children in Austin, Chicago and Lebanon. As the debilitating effects of Alzheimer’s progressed in June 2016 she moved into Sunrise Senior Living in Chicago, near her daughter Cindy.

Surviving are her children: son Ty (Allison) Phillips, Lebanon; two daughters, Cindy (Craig) Curtis, Chicago, and Misti (Brian) James, Austin, Texas; grandchildren, Sebastian (Dakota), Nicholas, Cassidy and Lilly Phillips (Ty and Stacie), Colin and Caitlyn Curti and, Grayson and Graham James; and great-grandchildren, Aiden and Langston. She is also survived by her twin brother, George Sanson (Wilma Krug), Veedersburg, and Wilma’s children, Karin (Tim) Loose, Kevin (Cheri) Krug and Scott (Kelly) Krug and grandchildren, Clint, Makala, Karoline, Kameran and Cody.

 Visitation hours are noon to 2 p.m. Saturday, May 26 at the Otterbein United Methodist Church (405 E. Oxford St.) with funeral services following at 2 p.m. at the church, with Pastor John Randall officiating. Interment will follow in Pond Grove Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be directed to Alzheimer’s Foundation.

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