DU QUOIN -- Carol Lou Phillips, 76, of Tamaroa, passed away at 1:25 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018 at the Fairview Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in Du Quoin.
On Jan. 20, 1942, Carol Lou Brueggemann was born to Byron and Ada (Mahan) Brueggemann in Sparta. Carol was the oldest of five children.
She married Earl Richard Phillips on June 5, 1960, right out of high school, at the Steeleville Lutheran Church. He preceded her in death on Aug. 1, 2016.
Richard was in the Navy, so that had them traveling quite a lot every four years. Sometimes, Carol was able to go with him and other times she could not. In January 1962, while stationed in Winter Harbor, Maine, their first child was born. His name was Michael Scott and he was born on Carol's birthday, Jan. 20. That was the best birthday present Carol could have imagined.
Richard was stationed in Florida next, and three years later, they had their second child. Her name was Barbara Lee and she was born Sept. 17, 1965. Now their family was complete. Richard was stationed in Washington, D.C. next.
When Richard retired, they moved back to Illinois to be closer to the rest of the family. Carol worked for several years at Essex and then as the cook at the Tamaroa Grade School for many years. Carol was a member of the V.F.W. Auxiliary, Sparta Post.
In May of 1988, starting with Barbie's wedding, she began her floral career. She was a self-taught florist. Carol's Flowers began in an upstairs bedroom. Weddings were her main focus in the beginning. She worked afternoons and evenings until she retired from the grade school. Soon, she expanded and built a shop in the backyard. Carol's Flowers grew until 2015 when she closed due to Richard's health.
Carol's health also started to go down, and after knee surgery in July of 2016, her short rehab turned into two years and one month in Fairview Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, where Alzheimer's took her from us with Barbie by her side.
Carol is survived by her son, Scott (Sherri Parrott); daughter, Barbie Brewer (Richard), all of Tamaroa; four grandchildren who she loved with all her heart and soul, Samantha Brewer Jean (Brett) of Benton, Dustin (Micaela Catron) Brewer, Zachary Phillips and Carli Phillips, all of Tamaroa; one great-grandchild whom she could not wait to meet and lit up every time she came to visit, Brynlee Brewer; four siblings, Dorothy (Joe) DeAngelo of Sesser, Ed (Vickie) Brueggemann of Sparta, Dean (Pam) Brueggemann of Evansville, and Gary Brueggemann of Sparta; and multiple nieces and nephews.
Carol was preceded in death by her husband, Earl; her parents; in-laws Earl and Glendola Phillips; several aunts, uncles, and cousins as well as one very special great grandchild, Baby Jean, with whom she is rocking in Heaven at this very moment.
Funeral services will begin at 10 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 6 at the Searby Funeral Home in Tamaroa with Brother Arven Kirkpatrick officiating.
Friends may call from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Searby Funeral Home in Tamaroa. Burial will be in the Caledonia Cemetery in Sparta.
Friends may make memorials to the Fairview Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center Activity Fund or the Alzheimer's Association. Both will be accepted at the funeral home.
For additional information or to sign the memorial guest register, visit www.searbyfuneralhomes.com.