Laverne A. Phillips

July 21, 1920 ‒ August 12, 2013

Mount Gilead, Ohio

Laverne Anne (nee Evenden) Phillips passed away on August 12, 2013, at the age of 93 at her home in Mount Gilead, Ohio. The matriarch of the Phillips family, Laverne, was a loving, devoted and caring daughter, sister, cousin, aunt, wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. Her children, Karen Veronica, Connie Tressel, and Scott picture her in heaven playing on a grand piano with her husband, Bill, happily turning the pages for her.

Laverne was born on July 21, 1920, in Cleveland, Ohio to the late Allan Vincent and Mae Anne (Vicha) Evenden and joined her elder brother, Edwin George. In 1943 she fell in love with William G. Phillips and they were happily married for 65 years at the time of Bill’s passing in 2008 while they were living in Fort Myers, Florida. Over the years they made homes together in Cleveland, Berea, Ohio, Minneapolis and Sanibel Island.

Laverne had many passions. Always first and foremost for ‘Mimi’ was family. She is survived by her children Karen, Connie (Richard) Tressel and Scott (Mary Kay) Phillips, her seven grandchildren: Hope Manley, Andrea (Rod) Benson, Michael (Megan) Tressel, Benjamin (Allyson) Tressel, Thomas (Michelle) Phillips, Luke (Rachel) Tressel, and Christina Phillips, her 14 great-grandchildren: Jackson, Kaja, Lila, Logan, Maliha, Marshall, Molly, Pippi, Quincy, Reston, Reza, Shea, William and Zoe and cousins, nieces, nephews, friends and international exchange student ‘family members’.

Mimi was a lifelong, active volunteer and a lover of the arts. She especially treasured the visual, musical, and literary arts. She played trombone with the Cleveland Women’s Symphony, was an accomplished organist and piano accompanist and served as the first female lay-leader of the Wayzata Community Church. Laverne and Bill were world travelers and visited six of the seven continents.

Laverne served on the boards of many organizations including BIG ARTS on Sanibel, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, the Women’s Association of the Minnesota Symphony Orchestra, Hamline University, the Freshwater Biological Institute, Twin Cities Chapter of American Diabetes Association, the Ecumenical Institute and the Experiment in International Living. She had the longest term of office as President of the Board of BIG ARTS (14 years).

Celebrations of Mimi’s life will be held in Mount Gilead, Ohio on August 24, 2013, and on Sanibel Island, December 7, 2013. On Saturday, August 24, there will be visiting hours from 1 – 2 p.m. and a memorial service will follow at 2:00pm at Craven Chapel of Snyder Funeral Home. In Florida, the service will be at Sanibel Community Church at 3:00pm followed by a reception at BIG ARTS.

Memorial donations can be directed to BIG ARTS, 900 Dunlop Road, Sanibel, Florida 33957, or to a charity of the donor’s choice.

Snyder Funeral Homes of Mount Gilead are honored to have been chosen to serve Laverne’s family and your private condolences may be expressed to them by visiting