Carolyn Phillips

Carolyn A Phillips 2

Carolyn Anne (Thielk) Phillips died peacefully in her sleep at the age of 99½ on May 11th, 2021.

Carolyn was a beloved woman, much admired for her tenacity and grace. She was a proud member of the Daughters of the Mayflower, carrying on the lifelong work of her mother who vigorously documented the family genealogy.

After graduating from high school in Ann Arbor, Michigan, she was a “Rosie the Riveter,” working at the Willow Run Bomber plant during World War II. Because of the rationing, she had more money than she could spend so she took flight lessons, stopping just short of becoming a pilot. After her marriage to John Clark, they left Michigan for a brief adventure in California before returning to Michigan to have her first of three daughters. Carolyn stayed home to raise her daughters, serving as a Girl Scout Leader, and teaching Sunday School and Vacation Bible School at Memorial Church of Christ (Livonia, Michigan).

When the girls all were in school, Carolyn enjoyed working outside the home, including her job at the State Bar Grievance Board of Michigan where she met her second husband, Marcel Phillips. Marcel swept her off her feet and to Hawaii where they eloped. They enjoyed 19 years of marriage filled with traveling to conferences for ex-FBI agents, spending time with their grandchildren, serving on the Condominium Board of Country Place in Northville, Michigan, and eating out many of their meals.

Carolyn loved to travel. She traveled into her 80s, often by herself when she could not find a friend to accompany her, including trips to Cuba, Egypt, Italy, and South America. She also loved having dogs. We cherish the memories we shared with her of her pets over the years including Eloise, Tonga, Ben, Kasha, and Scarlett.

Carolyn leaves to her family a legacy filled with memories and treasured wisdom. Most tangibly, her family will cherish the beautiful quilts Carolyn lovingly stitched by hand, many of which she gave over the years to family, friends and even strangers. Most of all, she leaves a legacy of how to embrace life with grace in every season, no matter what the years may hold.

Carolyn was preceded in death by her parents Carl and Laurene Thielk, her siblings Virginia, Richard, and Giles, and her beloved husband, Marcel.

She is survived by daughters Diane (David) Palm, Deborah Clark, Victoria Cheek, stepchildren Charles Phillips (Carol), Rick Phillips (Sandi), and Marsha Szczerba (Ken), as well as many grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces and nephews, with whom she loved keeping up with their lives through letters, emails, and Facebook.

A family celebration of Carolyn’s life will be held in her hometown of Ann Arbor, Michigan this summer.

The family is very grateful for the care Carolyn received in her last years and asks that any donations in Carolyn’s name be made to Gundersen Health System Hospice, Cass Street Assisted Living, or a charity of your choice. Schumacher – Kish Funeral & Cremation Services, La Crosse Chapel is assisting the family.