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1949 Mary Francis Phillips 2023

Mary Francis Phillips

September 10, 1949 — October 9, 2023



Mary Frances (Byington) Phillips, “Nana,” was a caring wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister and friend. She peacefully left this world on October 9, 2023, age 74, for a grand reunion with God and all of her family and friends who have gone before.  Mary was born in Kingsport, TN, to the late Elmer and Alpha (Nelms) Byington, “Granny B,” in September 1949, the youngest of nine children. She is preceded in death by her husband, Sherrill “Poppy” Phillips; sisters: Nanny Lou Thomas (Hubert); Eliza Hale (Earl); and Sue Mason and by her brothers: Verly ”Bud” Byington; Grady Byington; Hubert “Boob” Byington; and David“Bull” Byington as well as special “adopted” family member, Maria “Mimi” Small. She is survived by her sister, Jean Ketron and husband, Joe of Kingsport, TN. Mary graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School in Richmond, VA and then went on to be a telephone operator for C & P Telephone Co. of Virginia. Mary met the love of her life, Sherrill Phillips, on a family visit to Kingsport, TN. After several Greyhound Bus rides from Kingsport to Richmond, they were married in February 1968 for fifty-four years, until Sherrill’s death in April 2022.  Mary enjoyed visiting Arts and Crafts festivals with her husband and had an extensive collection of artisan baskets and pottery goods. She was also an avid collector of Longaberger Baskets, a habit she passed along to her kids. Mary loved spending time in the kitchen, creating meals for her family and bringing everyone together, especially for the holidays. She was always up for a visit to the mountains to stay in a cabin with her family. She had a very sweet tooth and rarely let cakes, brownies or candy corn get by her without a taste. She was teaching her great-grandchildren how to follow in her footsteps. Her life was filled with love and family.  Mary leaves behind so many who will miss her love and laughter but also her cutting eyebrows and frank advice. She leaves behind one daughter, Misty Small and husband Anthony of Wilmington, NC; and one son, Eric Phillips of Knoxville, TN. Granddaughters Hali Hemingway and husband Levi; Hana Quittschreiber and husband Kyle; and Hadyn Small, all of Wilmington, NC. Great-Grandchildren Jude, Hattie and Eleanor Hemingway and Grand-Dogs Frankie and Henrie Phillips. Special “adopted” family members Vivian Small Schneider (Rick) of Greensboro, NC; Imer Small Smith; and Jenel Small Jackson (Tom) of Wilmington, NC. Mary also leaves behind many cousins, nieces and nephews.  Mary’s family would like to extend heart-felt gratitude to the nurses, nursing aides, social worker and chaplain at Liberty HomeCare and Hospice Services of Wilmington, NC as well as Mary’s doctor, Graham Brown. Their dedication, support, kindness and attention to detail were unwavering and much appreciated.  The Phillips family will honor Mary’s life in a way she would like to be remembered. Please join us November 4, 2023 between 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. in the fellowship hall of Gravelly Baptist Church, 647 Gravely Road, Kingsport, TN 37660 to fellowship and enjoy sweet treats. Local arrangements were handled by Quinn McGowan Funeral Home in Wilmington, NC and Mynatt Funeral Home Fountain City Chapel in Knoxville, TN.

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Saturday, November 4, 2023

4:00 - 6:00 pm (Eastern time)

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