Barbara Rea Phillips of Boise passed away on Tuesday, October 15. She was born April 24, 1934 in Kuna, Idaho to Barton and Laura Rea. She joined the other kids in the family, Charlotte and Bob. After Dort came along the family enjoyed many camping trips to the mountains, having several “favorite” spots.
Barb spent her youth in Kuna and enjoyed the simple life of a small town girl. She met her lifelong best friend, Deloris in fifth grade. They played in the band and dyed their hair blue, because they could.
When Barb graduated from Kuna High, she moved to Boise to study elementary education at Boise Junior College. She met Gordon Phillips through the United Methodist Youth group while living on campus at Morrison Hall. She was so excited because he was “tall enough”. Barb and Gordon married on August 8, 1954. The young newlyweds helped start a group of Merriweds at the First United Methodist Church. The members of the group still meet monthly and have been lifelong friends for Barb.
Barb and Gordon welcomed three children to their family, Rick, Mike and Nan. What fun the family had!!! Trips to the Oregon coast, Yellowstone, San Francisco, South Fork Lodge… so many places and so many memories.
Barb taught elementary school in Boise for 35 years. She enjoyed the relationships with her fellow teachers and administrators, but most of all loved knowing she made a difference in a child’s life.
Barb was widowed in 1985 when Gordon passed away. The retired life she had imagined was not to be, but she put her independent spirit in gear and moved forward with gusto. Trips with friends to Germany, Roratonga, Louisiana, Redfish Lake… and trips with family to the Oregon Coast, an Alaskan cruise and many hours around the BBQ with beer and hot wings. Barb enjoyed several bridge groups, Retired Educators, Kuna Class of ’52, reading, crossword puzzles and spending time with those she loved… and of course sports on TV, particularly BSU football and basketball and the Cubs. Barb was a true blue Bronco!
Barb lived life to the fullest. She was a nurturer, had a quick wit and a ready smile. Her lasagna recipe is legendary and she was always looking forward to having chicken. She was an amazing woman who teamed with an extraordinary man to make the world a better place for the lives they touched.
Barb is survived by her three kids Rick, Mike (Sue) and Nan, grandsons Tim and Nick, Sam “the dog”, sister Dorothy Gibson (Jim), sister in law Maggie Rea and brother in law Boyd Green as well as several nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her loving husband Gordon, her parents, siblings Bob and Charlotte and furry friends Guinness and Millie.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Idaho Human Society or Boise State University Foundation in Barb’s name. A celebration of life is planned for 2:00 pm on Friday, October 18 at Cloverdale Funeral Home. Wear your favorite BSU shirt and celebrate the life of Barb!
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