Helen Atkeson Phillips died on December 4, 2023, just shy of her 97 th birthday. A native of Washington, D. C. and a resident of Williamsburg since 1979, Mrs. Phillips graduated from Mary Baldwin College. As an educator and director of volunteers, she served on the staff of the Diocese of Washington at the National Cathedral and the American Red Cross in Albany, New York and Wilmington, Delaware. She was retired from the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and had most recently worked as an instructor with the College of William and Mary’s Elderhostel Program.
Helen’s faith and churchmanship was central to her life. At Bruton Parish Church, she served on the Vestry and was Senior Warden. Music being so important to her, especially hymns, she served on the committee to bring a new organ to Bruton. She was a guide, as well as serving on many committees. In the Diocese of Southern Virginia, she organized Elderhostel programs, served on the Commission on Ministry and on the Jamestown 400 year anniversary liturgical team. She never stopped learning, and attended many conferences offered through the Church.
After moving to Williamsburg Landing, she served on the Residents’ Council and enjoyed welcoming new residents and representing others on the dining committee. In Williamsburg, she served various non- profits such as Hospice and FISH. She loved volunteering at Child Development Resources.
She was an amazing mother and grandmother.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Thomas and Helen Atkeson, and by her husband, William F. Phillips.
Survivors include a daughter, the Rev. Deborah Phillips of Salem, MA and her husband, Eric Wagner; a son, Thomas Phillips of Westford, MA; two grandchildren, James Phillips of Newton, MA and Abigail Phillips of Framingham, MA and her husband, Steven; and a great-grandchild Parker Phillips.
A memorial service will be held at Bruton Parish Church on January 6, 2024 at 11:30 am followed by internment in the churchyard.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the local chapter of the American Red Cross or to Bruton Parish Church.
Bruton Parish Episcopal Church - Directions
201 West Duke of Gloucester Street
Williamsburg, VA 23185