Suzanne Phillips

March 20, 1936 - April 24, 2020 Kennett Square, PA | Age 84

Suzanne Phillips, of Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, passed away Friday, April 24, 2020, in West Grove, PA. She was the cherished wife of Donald Phillips. Don and Sue met at Kennett High School in the 1950’s, and shared 61 years of marriage in their beloved Kennett Square.

Born 1936 in Philadelphia, she was the daughter of Ann and John Dowdell, who moved to Kennett Square when Sue was a young child. Sue earned a Bachelor’s degree in Education from West Chester University and later taught fifth grade in Kennett Square. Later she worked at her husband’s budding new enterprise, Phillips Mushroom Farm, as a receptionist and bookkeeper, during the early formation of the company, and helped design their logo.

She was a parishioner of St. Patrick Church in Kennett Square for many years, and later at St. Gabriel of the Sorrowful Mother in Avondale. She loved nothing better than to line up her beloved family in a long pew, and celebrate Christmas Eve mass together. Sue was an avid reader, tennis player, gardener, and loved to play card games, charades, scrabble and a multitude of other social, engaging games. She and her cohorts were infamous for creating elaborate ‘treasure hunt’ events that involved team collaboration, scavenger escapades and a variety of creative libations. Gin and tonic was Sue’s go to.

First and foremost, Sue was indisputably dedicated to her family. She left her working career to be a dedicated mom to three rambunctious sons. She loved her extended family as well, inviting her sister and family from Chicago to vacation in New Jersey every summer, and hosting an annual family reunion, inviting aunts, uncles, cousins, nephews and nieces from Philadelphia at her residence in Kennett Square. Ever the hostess, Sue and Don’s annual Christmas parties were legendary, to which over a hundred friends and relatives travelled far and wide to attend.
Sue is survived by her husband, Don; her son Steve Phillips and his wife Sharon; her son Michael Phillips and his wife, Arlene; and her son John (J.J.) and his wife Julianna; as well as six grandchildren: Alexis, Austin, Scott, Sarah, Skyler and Kaolin. Sue was preceded in death by one brother, John Dowdell. She is survived by her sister, Nancy Harp, of South Carolina.
There will be a private burial service within a week or two. The family will be announcing a more celebratory memorial event in the coming months.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Sue’s memory to the Kennett Square Library (on which she was on the board for many years) or the American Cancer Society.


  1. I was so sad to hear of Sue’s passing. She was always very sweet and never failed to write me a lovely note every year at Christmas. My prayers and sympathy to Don and the whole Phillips family.

    LIN ROMAN | July 8, 2020 at 2:50 PM
  2. I was just informed of Sue’s death and would like to extend my deepest condolences. Sue and my Mother, Elizabeth “Liza” Harrison McKenna shared a lifelong friendship. Your family will remain in my thoughts. I know Sue loved her family dearly.

    Megan Januszka | May 25, 2020 at 9:58 AM
  3. Dear Phillips’, Having worked with and for Sue and Don for 30 years to create gardens, wedding displays, Garden Parties, Christmas etc etc the whole family means a lot to me, but Sue was Special. Ever a lover of beautiful flowers, Sue always wanted color (pink especially) to accent every special (and not so special) events….and enjoyed other’s appreciation. I sure will miss her a lot. P.S. Hope your room in Heaven has the right shade of pink and blue…for sure!

    Steve Seivwright | May 13, 2020 at 4:24 PM
  4. Dear Donnie, Steve, Michael, JJ and your families,
    I am so very sad to hear of Sue’s passing. I will always remember her broad, welcoming smile, their warm and welcoming home, and her love for the family – close as well as not-so-close relatives! She will be sorely missed by many. I am holding you all “in the Light” and look forward to greeting you personally. With love, Cousin Betsy Walker

    Betsy Walker | May 12, 2020 at 8:48 AM
  5. My family and I are so very sad to hear of Sue’s passing. We have been friends for many years, spending many delightful days with all the Phillips, in Kennett, Ocean City and Andros. On warm Bahamian afternoons, Sue could be found sipping her Gin and tonic relaxing outside in her chair while Don could always find something needing his attention around the Villa or on his boat! Oh… and her Bahamian french toast on Sunday mornings!! Sue will be missed by all, and I know leaves a gaping hole in her family….. We send prayers and our love and cherish the memories of many wonderful times with Sue, Don and all the Phillips family.
    Fondly, Beverly Wozniak and Family

    Wozniak Beverly | May 7, 2020 at 11:43 AM
  6. Today May 7, 2020, will be a tough day for the Phillips family and friends. I say with heavy heart that I am so happy I had the pleasure to meet and to get to know Suzanne Phillips in the 3 months I spent my days with her and Don. Sue is missed dearly. With Deepest Sympathy, Fondly Connie Mullen 💔🙏❤

    Connie Mullen | May 7, 2020 at 9:43 AM
  7. Dear Don and family, I was so surprised to hear of Sue’s death and right after you moved into a new home. My deepest sympathy.
    With love, peace and prayers for comfort, Barb Pusey

    Barbara H Pusey | May 4, 2020 at 3:56 PM
  8. Mrs Phillips was always kind and smiling when I saw her. My condolences to the family, I know she will truly be missed.

    Eileen Palmer | May 4, 2020 at 12:41 PM
  9. I’m so very sad to hear the news, it has been awhile since I’ve seen you all. We had such fun at family gatherings and Sue was always so very kind to me. Love to All of you and God Bless
    Sallie Rush and family

    Salle Rush | May 3, 2020 at 10:26 PM
  10. Dave and I are so sad to hear about the loss of Sue. We have many treasured memories of happy times with her and her family at their home, at the Jersey shore, on Andros,, our cabin and at Penn State football games. Her warm , welcoming smile and generous friendship will never be forgotten. We hope to be in PA at the time of her memorial service so as to extend our sympathy to Don and the whole family.
    Dave and Jan Hamrick

    Dave and Jan Hamrick | May 3, 2020 at 4:35 PM
  11. Sending much love and deep condolences to all of Sue’s Family and friends. Sue was an amazing woman and I have so many happy memories of times spent with the Phillips family. I hope we can all be together again before too long to celebrate Sue’s life!
    Kelly Barron

    Kelly Barron | May 1, 2020 at 12:19 PM
  12. Don, Steve, Michael, JJ and Families,
    I was so sad to hear from my mom that Sue had passed away. She was such a wonderful person who did so much for our family over the years. Her wedding showers and baby showers for us were so special. All our visits to Kaolin Road, tailgating at Penn State games and more recently our times spent at the Ocean City house were always filled with fun. Family seemed to be the most important thing to Sue, and we were lucky to have that extend to my mom’s family. What an amazing lifelong friendship they had. Sue will be missed, but her memory will live on with all of us.
    Love to you all,
    Kristen Barron-Geubtner

    Kristen Barron-Geubtner | May 1, 2020 at 9:00 AM
  13. Our sympathy goes out to the Phillips family with the loss of Sue Phillips. She was always very kind and generous to our family, inviting us to the beach house for parties and fishing with Don. She loved her family and always wanted the best for them. May God bless you as you mourn the loss.
    Tom and Sandy Bahel

    Tom Bahel | April 30, 2020 at 4:58 PM
  14. Sue and I met in first grade, the beginning of a 78 year friendship! I plan to send personal messages to her loving family when we are no longer required to be in isolation! For now I can say that Sue was a good person with a deep faith and the courage of her convictions. Since I do not live in the area, Sue and I have communicated mainly by phone in recent years. The main focus of Sue’s conversation would be how proud she was of her family and,of course,the sharing of memories. My prayers are with that loving family. I’m sure that they are comforted, as am I, that Sue is with God,maybe even offering Him a few suggestions! May she Rest In Peace🙏🏻

    Lois Barron | April 30, 2020 at 10:43 AM
  15. So many wonderful thoughts and memories flood my mind when I think of Aunt Sue. Avid gardener, lover of dogs, gourmet chef, interior designer, always rallying us for a game of charades and so much more. Mostly she was a great wife, mom and Aunt with the most beautiful smile and blue eyes. My deepest sympathies to Uncle Don and my cousins and their families. I look forward to celebrating Sue when we are able to be together again.

    Diane Rayfield | April 29, 2020 at 10:20 AM
  16. We were so sorry to learn of Sue’s passing. As a member of the Stief family, we have many memories of Sue and Don. They were so generous and kind. We had great family gatherings at their place in the summer. It was a chance to see everyone at a happy time in a beautiful setting. In later years, Sue and I compared notes on being involved with our libraries. I was a trustee and later president of my small library. We shared some ideas and ways to deal with various problems that would arise. We will always remember her with fondness and pray that the family wlll get through this difficult time. With love, Lou, Fran and Tom Stief

    Fran Stief | April 29, 2020 at 9:52 AM
  17. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Phillips family. Sue was a great lady with the most beautiful smile! I have many fond memories from Phillip’s family gatherings where I had the pleasure of talking with Sue. I still cherish the beautiful sympathy card and note she sent to me when my father passed many years ago. Heaven gained another angel for sure. So sorry for your loss.

    Donna Ciarmella-Smith | April 29, 2020 at 9:17 AM
  18. We are sorry for your loss. Sue was a beautiful woman inside and out. It was a privilege to know her. When we think of her, plants come to mind. She was a talented gardener and loved to share what she had. May the Lord comfort you all in this difficult time.

    John and Rhonda Molin

    Rhonda Molin | April 29, 2020 at 8:48 AM
  19. Mim, Are hearts are heavy! We miss you already, but know you have gone to your final resting place, peacefully! We love you & you will never be forgotten!

    Sharon Phillips | April 29, 2020 at 5:46 AM
  20. We will sure miss Aunt Sue with her beautiful smile and love for entertaining and game playing. i have many fun memories from summer vacations at the shore with her and the Phillips clan. Hugs to all the Phillips and hope to see you soon.

    Susan Harp | April 29, 2020 at 1:00 AM
  21. My deepest condolences on your loss. My mother worked with her on committees at the library and always spoke fondly of her.
    The Buffum family

    Rob | April 28, 2020 at 10:03 PM
  22. Deeply saddened to hear of Sue’s passing! I knew her from the Kennett Library Board and the Events Committee over a period of many years. She was a warm, outgoing, generous person who contributed so much to the Kennett community over a lifetime. She is missed.

    Margaret Hennes | April 28, 2020 at 9:31 PM

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