Mrs. Jane Garrett Philips, age 94 of Fernandina Beach, passed away on Tuesday evening, July 25, 2017 at Baptist Medical Center in Fernandina Beach.
Born in Swainsboro, GA she was one of seven children born to the late John Asa Garret and Annie Belle Waller. She grew up in Emmanuel County where she was a graduate of Swainsboro High School. After high school she attended the Georgia College for Women in Milledgeville where she majored in English and specializing in Theater. After college and at the height of World War II she accepted employment with Liberty Mutual Insurance as one of the first female Insurance Claims Adjusters in a previously male dominated industry. Possessing a desire to teach, she moved to Florida in search of a teaching position which she found in Hilliard, FL. After settling in rural Nassau County and while attending a church social event in Hilliard, she met a young Marine, Eber Philips Sr. who was living on and managing his family farm. Miss Garrett and Mr. Philips married in 1949. They later moved to Fernandina where Mrs. Philips continued to teach at Fernandina Elementary, Junior High and Senior High Schools. Most will remember her years of teaching 5th grade at Emma love Hardee Elementary. From 1964 until 1972 the Philips’s owned and operated Philips Holiday Heaven Campground in Amelia City. Mrs. Philips retired from teaching in the early 1980s and moved to the Florida Keys with her husband to pursue his love of fishing. In the early 1990s they returned Fernandina.
Jane, also known as “Neat” to her family, loved to arrange flowers, paint and write. Her daughter Jane helped her publish her memoirs called “A Neat Story” in 2012. She remained current with the times and used a laptop, iPad and iPhone to keep in touch with her numerous family members and friends.
The Philips family are longtime members of the First Presbyterian Church of Fernandina where Mrs. Philips was a founding member of the Esther Circle. One of her greatest gifts to the church is a scholarship fund in memory of her son Eber. It provides scholarships annually to high school graduates. She was a member of the Amelia Island Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and was the chairman of the WWII Memorial Project.
Her husband, Lt Col. Eber Bethune Philips Sr. passed away in March of 2000. She is also preceded in death by a son, Eber Philips Jr., and a grandson, Garrett Lowell Hall.
Mrs. Philips leaves behind her two daughters, Jane Philips Collins and her husband, Steve of Fernandina Beach, FL, Dr. Catherine “Betsy” Philips Fulford and her husband, Bob of Honolulu, HI, her last living sibling, Ann Kemp Murray, Charleston, SC, a grandson. Riley Lafayette Hall, Fernandina Beach, FL, a granddaughter- in- law, Melissa Mathews Hall and numerous nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be at 2:00 pm on Saturday, July 29, 2017 at the First Presbyterian Church of Fernandina Beach with the Reverend Dr. Wain Wesberry, officiating.
Mrs. Philips will be laid to rest beside her husband in Judd Cemetery.
Her family will receive friends on Friday from 5:00 – 7:00 pm at Oxley Heard and on Saturday from 1:00 pm until the hour of the service, at the church.
If so desired, memorial contributions may be made to: Eber Bethune Philips, Jr. Scholarship Fund at First Presbyterian Church or the Judd Cemetery Association, or the charity of your choice.