There were many interests that gained the attention of Beverly Phillips but none intrigued her more than that of the American Indian culture. She visited many reservations throughout her lifetime all while indulging in her collection of authentic Indian jewelry. With a heart for others, Beverly’s private nature blossomed while serving in the gift shop at the Milwaukee Protestant Home where she made lasting friendships. With an abundant love for her hometown city of Milwaukee, Beverly held close to her roots and worked for the very city she called home. A special woman who possessed a special heart, Beverly will be truly missed.
Beverly’s story began at a time when the nation continued to struggle through the Great Depression. The year 1932 found unemployment lines, food lines and housing lines stretched across the U.S. as unemployed Americans increased to over 24%. Many used entertainment to clear their minds from everyday worries while some of the most famous names in Hollywood starred on the big screen that year. On April 23, 1932, amid the world’s struggles, the birth of baby girl Beverly Joan brought a time of celebration to the hearts of her parents, William M. and Josephine (Tarmann) Phillips of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Her parents met and married before Beverly’s father was deployed overseas during World War I. They came to Milwaukee from Ogema, Wisconsin, making their home on the east side of the city where young Beverly was raised. Blessed with a rich English Welch heritage from her father and an Austrian ancestry from her mother, Beverly encompassed features from both beautifully. The youngest of four children, she grew up with her sister, Dorothy and brother, Howard. Sadly, her older sister, Vivian, died as a baby. Beverly’s father worked in a local brewery to support his family before managing a career in real estate when the economy came back from the dredges of the Depression.
Often returning with her family to Ogema, Wisconsin to help out on the Tarmann family farm, Beverly, along with her brother and sister, enjoyed memorable childhood antics and adventures there. She had a typical childhood for the times all while attending Maryland Avenue Grade School where she made several close friends. She went on to graduate from Riverside High School in 1950. After high school Beverly worked for a brief time as a clerk at the Boston Store before pursuing her college ambitions. She enrolled at the University of Wisconsin in Madison and continued her studies there for two years. Upon her fathers’ death, Beverly left school and returned home where she committed herself in caring for her mother.
For a time Beverly worked at various jobs before taking a position with the City of Milwaukee Housing Authority in the accounting office. She loved her job and remained
working for the city for 28 years before eventually retiring in 1993. Her position meant a great deal to Beverly because she held a great love for the City of Milwaukee. After World War II, the city prospered to new heights while experiencing a boom in industry, manufacturing and businesses of varying degrees. Set against the beautiful backdrop along the shores of Lake Michigan, when she ran into or came across those visiting from outside the area, she often elaborated on the history of Milwaukee and always suggested a handful of restaurants to visit and sights to see.
Beverly possessed a natural interest in history. In fact, she was the family historian as well as a collector of sorts. She enjoyed her small collection of coins and dolls, but was most interested in Indian jewelry. She also enjoyed traveling domestically, especially to areas with Indian reservations. Her brother lived in Arizona where Beverly visited often due to the vast number of reservations in the southwest. She loved learning about the tribes and their customs and at the same time, added to her collection of jewelry.
In Beverly’s free time she faithfully volunteered her services at the Milwaukee Protestant Home. She loved working in the gift shop there and continued to do so for more than 10 years where she gained many lasting and close friendships with the residents. Her longtime little canine companion Fifi brought her great joy for many years. A rather private woman, Beverly never liked being fussed over or having others go out of their way for her. She enjoyed doing for those she cared about and it enriched her life greatly. Beverly kept to herself and it wasn’t until this last year when her family realized she needed additional care.
As her health issues progressed, Hospice was called in to care for Beverly when it became evident that her time was drawing near. At the age of 78, Beverly Joan Phillips died on Sunday, June 27, 2010. She will be long remembered for enriching the lives of others and will be greatly missed.
Beverly was a dear sister-in-law to Lois Phillips and a loving aunt to Deborah, Patrie, Kieron, John, Robert and William. She is further survived by many other relatives and friends. Besides her sister Vivian, she was also preceded in death by her parents; sister Dorothy; brother Howard and brother-in-law, John Schauble.
Visitation with her family will be held on Wednesday, June 30, 2010, 9:30 AM until the time of the Funeral Mass at 10:30 AM at St. Hugh of Lincoln Church, 2401 S. 12th Street in Milwaukee. She will be laid to rest with her parents and other family members at Forest Home Cemetery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Please visit www.lifestorynet.com to leave a favorite memory, submit a photo or to sign her online guest book. Her family is being served by the Suminski Family Funeral Homes, Suminski/Weiss (414) 276-5122.