Daily Independent, The (Jan/14/2004)
Eliza H. Phillips
At the age of 96 years, God called a beautiful angel to her eternal home. That angel was our precious mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and great-great-grandmother, Eliza Hester Mason Phillips of Isonville, Ky.
Born July 25, 1907, Eliza was the 12th child of 13 children born to Stonewall Jackson Mason and Sena Victoria Brickey Mason. Her 12 siblings were Samantha Jane Mason, Mary Marinda Mason Gilliam, Landon Parish Mason, Jesse James Mason, Anna Margaret Mason, Martha Caroline Mason Gilliam, Jaley Bell Mason Buckner, Malissa Adline Mason Wheeler, Easter May Mason Wheeler, Cornelius Mason, William Mathew Mason, and Ida Ho Mason. All including their spouses, preceded her in death.
Eliza accepted Christ as her Lord and Savior at a very young age and was a member of the United Baptist Church for more than 85 years. She along with her son, Darrell, were charter members of Fannin Chapel, after having been members of Beech Grove United Baptist Church for many, many years. When the church doors were open she would be there, if at all possible. If she was able and the weather permitted, it was not unusual to see her walking to church, as its location was convenient to her house. The good saints of the church, be it family or friends, would see that she got home safely. Her love for God and family was evident to all those who knew her. Eliza had a great interest in and love for Fannin Chapel as she and her son Darrell contributed not only financially, but Darrell labored joyously many, many hours helping to build their church. Her other two sons, Clarence (Tennie) and Dennis measured and made the side railing, and Clarence helped with its installation.
A very caring, gentle, and kind Christian mother, she worked from sun up till sun down to provide for her family. She was no stranger to hard work. As a child, she worked in the fields with her father, rising at 4 a.m. After she was married she continued working in the fields with her husband as well as doing the housework. She loved to sprout a hillside, tend a garden, can all kinds of food to feed her family, through the cold winter months, mend and make clothes for her six children, piece and make quilts, crochet afghans and doilies, knit and of course, cook. She was a wonderful cook and made many, many tasty dishes. Her dried apple pies (made from apples she picked, sliced and dried) were one of her family's favorites, and she shared them many times with her friends at church.
During the winter time, she kept a quilting frame assembled containing one of the many quilts she had pieced, often you could find her there in the early morning hours or early afternoon diligently working on her quilt. She has provided dozens of beautiful quilts for her children and grandchildren. Our Mother was blessed with many talents. She epitomized Proverbs 31:10-31.
A pawpaw tree inhabits her back yard and during a bountiful year, she has gathered as many as 6 to 700, keeping track everyday as to the number she gathered. She loved the fruit of a pawpaw tree and shared it with any and all who cared to partake.
Until she became unable to do so, she loved to walk the hills of her farm and enjoy God's beauty. Mommy and Daddy and their children tilled the fields, planted and harvested crops of sugar cane, corn and tobacco to make a living. From the sugar cane, molasses were made that Mommy would use to make stack cakes, gingerbread and molasses candy, even fried molasses. These were considered special treats that pleased the pallet of those who indulged.
After suffering a serious heart attack in October, 2000, Eliza made her home with her loving daughter and son-in-law, Faye and Brooks Rowe of Olive Hill, Ky. The care she received from Faye and her family was incomparable. Whatever she needed or whatever she wanted, Faye or one of her family members saw that she got it. Hospice of Morehead and Home Health Care assisted with her care for many months. Besides the love and gentle care given by Faye's entire family, a cousin Betty Mason, and a friend, Georgia Parish, spent many days and nights assisting with her care.
Eliza is preceded in death by her dear husband of 48 years, James Albert (Jim) Phillips and two precious sons, William Darrell Phillips and Clarence Tennyson (Tennie) Phillips and a precious little great-grandson, Warren Shea Lewis. Left to mourn her loss but rejoice in her gain, are one son and three daughters. They are Dennis (Mary Lou) Phillips of Plain City, Ohio, Edna (Bernard) Reiselt of Plain City and Faye (Brooks) Rowe of Olive Hill and Mavis (Dick) Baker of Westerville, Ohio. She is also survived by two daughters-in-law, Pauline Peters Phillips of Isonville and Janet Aurand Phillips of Plain City; 20 grandchildren; 42 great-grandchildren; 23 great-great-grandchildren; many special nieces and nephews; one sister-in-law, Faye Whitley; and a host of friends and neighbors.
Though our hearts ache from her loss and our emptiness is indescrible, we know her suffering is over. She is home in the arms of Jesus. Often times, she spoke of Heaven and those she loved so much who were there waiting for her. Now the wait is over, and I can only imagine her shouts of joy when she saw her loved ones and they saw her. She was a praying Mother, whose earnest and never ceasing prayer was that her entire family would spend eternity in Heaven and that the circle would not be broken. Our hope and prayer is that God will touch the hearts of those who do not know Him and that her prayers as well as others will be answered.
"We love you and miss you so much, Mommy. We are forever indebted to you for being such an inspiration to us and leaving us so many wonderful memories to cherish. The lessons you taught us by your Godly examples (sometimes by words and sometimes by your silence) will never be forgotten. Until we meet again, you will always remain in our hearts. Your loving family."
Pallbearers will be Eliza's grandsons, Bobby, Garry and Billy Rowe, Jim, Mark and Jack Phillips, Marion Lewis, C.T., Denny, Keith and Jeff Phillips, Michael and Gabriel Harrison and Carl and Don Mitchell.
Funeral services will be at 1 p.m. Wednesday at Lewis & Ferguson Funeral Home in Sandy Hook by Elders Tim Porter and Denzil Jenkins. Burial will be in Elliott County Memory Gardens.
Friends may call from 4 to 9 p.m. Tuesday at the funeral home.
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