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Obituary - Open letter to all in the Havre/Hi-Line community who may remember me


Last updated 7/24/2020 at 11:40am

Alice Philippi

I've decided to write my own obituary.

I was born on December 30, 1927 and died of too many birthdays on July 3, 2020. My body has been cremated. There will be no funeral, but later on a private celebration of life when my ashes are buried.

The parents I chose were pioneer photographer A.M. Allison and Hazel Allison in Chinook, Montana. I was the fifth of six children, all of whom preceded me in death. Brothers Andy, Jim and George and sisters Lois and Merrie, also an infant daughter Reed.

I graduated from Chinook High School in 1945, and moved to Havre in September of the same year. Deciding college life at Northern Montana College was not for me, I went job hunting. It was "Christmas rush" time and lucky for me Myrt Fullmer at 224 4th Avenue needed temporary help in her photography studio for the rush and hired me. I never left! She sold her business to Vern Helmbrecht, who was my boss until his retirement when his son Steve bought the studio. I then worked for him. Most people assumed I was a Helmbrecht - first as Vern's wife, then as Steve's mother. I worked for three different bosses at the same location for over 62 years.

I think that would establish me as the oldest "non-owner" employee at a business in Havre.

In the course of my career, I met and married Leo Philippi. We had four children and were married until his death in 1989.

I was never a "joiner," but was a Soroptimist and in Parents Group for the Havre Lions swim team for years.

My interests other than photography and my family were crafty things like knitting, latch hook rugs, scrapbooks, photo albums (I have about 90 of them), keeping journals, refinishing furniture, etc., so you see that I was not bored.

One of most interesting was genealogy. I did the research for both Allisons and Philippis, and have managed to keep it up with the recent marriages, divorces, babies, etc.... I think.

When I moved to Utah, I became interested in gardening, canning, yard work, politics and writing letters to the editor of the Salt Lake Tribune. They have printed at least seven of them.

Alice Philippi

For anyone who is still reading, my children are Jill, Jim and Kay, all successful professionals. I have seven grandchildren, two step- grandchildren, six great grandchildren and three step-great grandchildren.

In closing, thanks to all of you whose lives I've touched. I have often felt like an uninvited guest who has been "involved" (unknown to you) at very important times in your lives, sharing engagements, marriages, babies and family. Then the kids' school pictures and sports, graduation from high school and college, then back to engagement, marriage, etc. I have probably worked on more pictures of you than you could possibly imagine.

Thanks for the memories. I have enjoyed knowing you.

Alice Philippi

The family asks that people who want to memorialize Alice send a donation to Friends of the Havre Animal Shelter.


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