Ruth Blanche Borum Phillips

Published 8:00 am Friday, February 11, 2022

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Dec. 11, 1919 – Feb. 8, 2022

YAZOO CITY – Ruth Blanche Borum Phillips passed away peacefully at her home in Natchez, MS, on Feb. 8, 2022, at the age of 102. She was born on Dec. 11, 1919, to May Belle Woody Borum and John Clarence Borum in Earle, AR, the seventh of nine children. At the age of three, the family moved to Aberdeen, MS. There she graduated from Aberdeen High School as the Salutatorian and Miss Aberdeen High.

One of the first in her family to attend college, she went to Mississippi College for Women where she and her roommates founded the Rogue Social Club. While at the “W,” Blanche mastered the sport of tennis without ever using a ball!  Being extremely talented, she also danced as if she were floating on air under the tutelage of Miss Phol.

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After completing two years at the “W,” she transferred to Millsaps and pledged Chi Omega. Blanche adored the academic life at Millsaps and had a double major in history and English. She was everyone’s first pick for their Trivial Pursuit team. Being very humble, she accredited her history professors for her knowing all the answers. Having worked at the Millsaps Library to help pay her tuition, Blanche used her writing and library skills to help many young people realize their dreams by teaching them how to research and write college term papers and to study for exams. It was normal for her children to come home after school in Holly Bluff and find students sitting around her dining room table with books and papers spread all over it.

At Millsaps Blanche met her beloved Lem Montgomery Phillips and they married in 1942, in Aberdeen. During World War II, while Lem served his country in the Philippines, she taught school. In 1945, they moved to Tanglewood Plantation in Holly Bluff, MS, and farmed family land. To Blanche the Delta was “God’s Country.” It was there that they raised their two daughters, Sarah and Beverly.

Blanche was a devoted wife, mother, sister, daughter, daughter-in-law, grandmother, great grandmother, and friend. She was a gracious lady of deep humility, integrity, and devout faith in Jesus Christ. As an active member of the Holly Bluff United Methodist Church, she served as President of the Women’s Missionary Society, leader of the MYF and a Sunday School teacher for many years. She worked continually in her children’s schools and 4-H club locally and throughout the state. To ensure students could meet their prerequisites to attend college, she volunteered to teach French in the local high school.

A highlight for Blanche and Lem was taking friends and family to Aspen, CO, every year to learn to snow ski, ride snow mobiles and to travel through the mountains on a horse-drawn sleigh. They loved watching all the young people ski and enjoy each other as well as the beauty of nature. Blanche and Lem also saved their money in order to send their children and grandsons to nearly every country in our vast beautiful world. They traveled extensively but only after they had provided the experience to their family. The pleasure that they received in hearing their children’s stories of adventures in far-reaching places exceeded their own individual needs. They were truly selfless in every possible way.

Blanche and Lem wholeheartedly loved their family, friends, church, community, and country. This dynamic duo never met a stranger and welcomed and embraced everyone into their home. They were true servants of our Lord by offering at any time everything from fellowship to a hot meal or to listen to someone’s burdens that they never minded helping them carry. Blanche loved God, her husband, and every human being that had the privilege of making her acquaintance. The unconditional love that these two shared was something out of a movie. Doing for others without expectations of return was a beautiful attribute to witness in Blanche’s life.

During all of Blanche’s life, she faced many different health and personal challenges. Always being extremely positive, she met her difficulties with a smile, sense of humor, and a reply of “I am fine.”  Blanche truly lived her purpose of glorifying God with her life.

Blanche was preceded in death by her husband; her infant daughter, Carol Ann; her parents, and eight siblings.

She is survived by her two daughters, Sarah Woods (Robert) of Basalt, CO and Beverly Hude (George) of Natchez, MS; two grandsons, Lem Phillips Jenkins (Laurel) of Covington, LA and Hyde Dunbar Jenkins II (Anastasia) of Oxford, MS and four great granddaughters, Isabel, Caroline, Juliet, and Isla Jenkins. Also surviving her are several nieces, nephews, and cousins that she deeply loved.

Her family has absolute faith that God and Lem and many family members and friends are welcoming Blanche home. Her favorite, Lawrence Welk, is playing just for her.

The family expresses heartfelt appreciation to the many devoted caregivers Blanche had over the years who loved her and treated her as one of their own. This gratitude is extended most especially to Laura Barnes, Shelia Marshall, Peggy Rice, Dorothy Shropshire and Rita O’Neal and also, for the care she received from Deaconess Hospice. Special gratitude is given to Shelia, Courtney and Dr. Kenneth Stubbs.

The family requests to remember Blanche with donations to the First United Methodist Church of Yazoo City, First Presbyterian Church of Natchez or the Holly Bluff Methodist Church.

Proverbs 31: 20, 25-28

20:  She extends a helping hand to the poor and opens her hands to the needy.

25:  She is clothed in strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.

26:  When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness.

27:  She carefully watches over everything in her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.

28:  Her children stand and bless her.  Her husband praises her.

Services under the direction of Stricklin King Funeral Home of Yazoo City will be Monday, Feb. 14, 2022, at Yazoo City’s First Methodist Church. Visitation will start at 12:30 p.m. followed by services at 2 p.m. Rev. Lauren Porter will officiate. Interment will follow in Glenwood Cemetery in Yazoo City.