Helen Darby Philips

Published 9:38 am Friday, February 23, 2024

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Helen Darby Philips died on Feb. 22, 2024, at the Andalusia Manor at the age of 102.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Lt. Col David E. Philips, USA (Ret.), her daughter, Allyn Shayne, her parents, Charles and Elizabeth Darby, and four older siblings, “Son”, Buster, Louise, and Katherine. She is survived by her granddaughter, Dylan, and Dylan’s husband, Mike Callahan as well as nephews and nieces.

Mrs. Philips was born in Gantt and growing up in Gantt, she was a part of the family’s Darby’s Store and the family farm. She graduated from Andalusia High School in 1939 and then stayed with her sister, Louise, in New York, where she worked as a model. She later worked at the now Eglin AFB where she met her husband. Helen enjoyed the Army life and its consistent moves, which her Gantt-bound family could never quite understand. Memorable assignments for the Philips included Germany and Ft. Sill in Oklahoma. A favorite was at Texas A&M University where David was an ROTC instructor, which combined both his military and teaching careers. After retirement from the Army, the Philips lived in Yuma, Arizona, San Diego, California, and Los Angeles, California.

Helen was always remembered by her nephews and nieces as the aunt with the best Christmas presents. Helen and Dave were loyal members of the First United Methodist Church. The Philips always maintained their Alabama roots and finally returned to convert the now-closed Darby’s Store into a beautiful retirement home. Family members loved to visit Helen and Dave and remember the relationship of the new house to the old store. The family will forever be grateful for the care she provided her sister Katherine in the last years of Katherine’s life. Helen will be cremated, and her ashes will be placed in the family plot at Able Cemetery in Gantt beside her beloved Dave and Allyn and the Darby’s with a graveside family service.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the First United Methodist Church of Andalusia.

Those wishing to sign the online guest registry may do so online at www.foremanfuneralhome.com.