Obituaries » Jean Price Philipps
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September 11, 1921 - March 7, 2020
Jean Price Philipps, who throughout her life cherished the memories of her youth in a small Wisconsin town, died peacefully in her sleep on March 7 at age 98.
She was born in Portage, Wis., on September 11, 1921, to Julette Tuley and Roscoe Conklin Price.
In Lima, she and her husband, Jack Philipps, for many years operated the B&K Root Beer drive-in on North West Street.
But a large part of her heart always remained in Portage, a rural yet bustling county seat of about 6,000. The small-town life always informed her personality.
“She used to talk about walking down the street and she would know everybody,’ said her daughter, Corky Boose. “She said she used to make it a game and she usually did know everybody who passed by. And, throughout her whole life, I guess you could say she never met a stranger.”
Her mother was a Vaudeville performer and in the ’20s little Jean would accompany her mother on the road where she would sometimes do what she called her “Little Wooden Soldier” routine with the dance troupe in the background clapping and encouraging her.
The life took a toll on her parents marriage, however. They soon divorced and Jean was raised by her beloved grandmother, Ellen Price, in Portage where she graduated from high school.
She met her future husband while attending Ball State Teachers College in Muncie, Ind., but America entered World War II soon after the marriage and Jack became a naval aviator. As a flight instructor he moved about the country and she accompanied him, living in cities throughout the south and the Midwest.
Despite her small-town upbringing, she always loved to explore new places and during their entire marriage she and Jack traveled, usually in their Airstream trailer. She also loved to read and for many years haunted the Lima Public Library.
“My earliest memories are of my mother reading to me,” said her son Mike Philipps. “She instilled in me her boundless curiosity and endless sense of wonder at the world and the people in it.”
She is survived by her son, John Michael “Mike” Philipps and his wife, Carole, of Cincinnati, and her daughter Corliss “Corky” Boose, of Lima. Her devoted husband of 63 years, John A. “Jack” Philipps, died in 2004. She also was preceded in death by her son-in-law, Jack Boose.
She was a member of the Delta Theta Tau sorority.
Services and internment will be at the convenience of the family.
Memorials may be made to the Lima Public Library or to the Portage Historical Society, 804 McFarland Road, Portage, WI 53901.
Arrangements are in care of Chiles-Laman Funeral Home.