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JOPLIN - Isabel May "Teddy" Phillips, 85, died Monday, March 8, 2004, at Great Falls hospital.

Teddy was cremated per her wishes. A committal service with burial of ashes in the Joplin Cemetery will be planned at a later date.

Teddy was born June 18, 1918, at Sidney, Australia, to Edmund and Isabella (Rendall) Abrahams. She grew up in Australia and received her formal education at the Sidney Girl's School. She graduated from high school in 1936. In the few years that followed, she worked as a bookkeeper for a large merchantile store in Sidney.

At the outbreak of World War II, Teddy enlisted in the Royal Australian Air Force and served in the Signal Corps. She met an American soldier, Curtis "Roy" Phillips, who was serving in Australia in the Army Air Corps. Following Roy's honorable discharge, Teddy flew to the United States to be with him.

They were married Sept. 8, 1947. in Great Falls. They made their home in the Rudyard and Hingham communities, where she worked as a homemaker and mother of five children. Teddy's mom came to Montana in 1951 and lived with them until her death in 1959.

In the 1960s, Teddy began attending school at Northern Montana College in Havre. She earned her teaching degree in 1965. The Phillips family moved to Joplin, where she accepted a teaching position. Teddy taught sixth grade and special education in Joplin. She continued to teach in the J-I School system until her retirement in 1988.

Roy died on Nov. 13, 1990, and Teddy remained in their Joplin home until 1994, when she moved to Great Falls to be closer to her children. Although she had several medical problems, her general health remained relatively good over the years.

Teddy was a Lutheran and she enjoyed singing in the Bethel Church choir in Joplin in those early years. She had also been a member of the Montana Education Association.

Her hobbies included knitting, swimming, flower gardening, crossword puzzles and reading. Teddy was a self-taught piano player who could "pound out" some good ragtime music. Recently, she enjoyed learning and playing mah-jongg. Probably her greatest love was spending time with her children and grandchildren.

Teddy had a unique personality and a good sense of humor. She recently told her daughter that if she could write her own obituary it would read as follows: "Isabel May 'Teddy' Phillips (nee Abrahams) is late "

Teddy was preceded in death by her husband; parents; and son, Curtis in 1957.

Survivors include her children, Glen Phillips of Great Falls, Kathy Phillips of Great Falls, Diane (Jim) Peterson of Galesbury, Ill., and Scott Phillips of Great Falls; three grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.

Arrangements are by Rockman Funeral Chapel, Chester.


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