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Elsie Phillips

Thursday, January 26, 2023
Elsie Phillips

Elsie Lee Phillips, 90, went to be with her Lord and Savior on Jan. 17, 2023.

Services were held Jan. 20 by Pastor Ryan Pederson at St. Olaf Lutheran Church in Cranfills Gap under the direction of Clifton Funeral Home. Elsie’s final resting place was at the Old Rock Church Cemetery in Cranfills, Gap.

Elsie Lee (Carlson) Phillips was born to parents Canute and Pearl Mae (Knudson) Carlson on May 4, 1932. She was born at the height of the Depression in the little rural town of Meridian in Bosque County. The Carlsons made their home in a little place even far more remote than her birthplace called Cranfills Gap. Elsie was baptized in the church just a little over a month after her birth on June 15, 1932, at St. Olaf Lutheran Church. She attended church faithfully and was confirmed on May 18, 1947.

Life was hard on that little scrap of land, but there was a simplicity to growing up in the “Gap” that couldn’t be matched anywhere else in this old world. Elsie, along with her sister Connie, grew up and played in the tiny town where everyone knew everyone, and time stood still. She attended Cranfills Gap school and graduated from there in 1949 ready to start a new chapter in her life.

The new chapter began with Graham McNamee Phillips. “Mack,” as everyone called him, came and stole her heart away and they made it official on Feb. 8, 1952.

The 1950s held lots of excitement for the young couple. They made their home in Cranfills Gap, Lanham, Waco and Corpus Christi. They also started their family of four children, Tracine, Jeff, Maxine and Jeanne. “Mack” and Elsie built their permanent home in the Gap in 1964 and settled in for the long haul.

Elsie was not only a loving and caring wife and mother, but also committed to her Lord and Savior by example and devotion to the rearing of her children in church, where she taught Sunday School and Vacation Bible School for many, many years. She was a part of the WELCA Financial Secretary Congregation and secretary and treasurer of various offices and activities of her church.

Elsie also worked as a substitute rural mail carrier and a bank teller/bookkeeper at First Security State Bank of Cranfills Gap from 1972 to 1997 until she retired.

Apart from being a devoted wife and mother, seeing about her church family and being an active member in her little community of the Gap, Elsie was a member of the Chamber of Commerce, City Council, and community prayer chain. She was a volunteer at the Gap School. Elsie had the distinguished honor of being the Grand Marshall of Cranfills Gap. She faithfully reported rain to the Weather Service for 45 years. Elsie made many pies for the Lutefisk supper, and she was best known far and wide for her sweet tea. People have driven many a mile to the Gap just for a taste of that homemade sweet tea! Let’s not even mention some of her home-cooked recipes, Leona’s cookies being a favorite of all.

Elsie had many things she enjoyed in life in her spare time. She loved to sew and was known for her nimble threadwork in making quilts. Reading and listening to good music were also favorites of hers.

Elsie loved to work in her yard and when not there, often would squeeze in a good game of Bunco!

Elsie and Mack were members of the Bluebonnet Country Club in Hico. In later years she was a member of the Bosque Valley Golf Club in Meridian where she played in many golf tournaments. She scored a hole in one twice in 1983. She was playing with Jodie McCreary both times. One at Bosque Valley Golf Club, hole #6, and a few months later at Hancock Park in Lampasas, hole #7. Her comment to the newspaper on how she felt in a word was... “Great”!

“Sweet” is the word that would be used to best describe Elsie. That word was used time and time again by many who knew her. She had so many special friends, and she loved her family dearly. It was mutual both ways. Her sweet, sweet smile was contagious. Elsie was kind, understanding, caring, happy, funny, athletic, social and loving, and she had a soft heart on top of all that! Most of all she loved God. He was #1 in her life. She would always say she was never alone because God was always with her. It was very important for her to know that her family loved God. She was always thinking of others. She spent many hours at her dining room table eating, spending time in the Word and reading her devotionals. Elsie was a great example for all of us. We, her children, feel so blessed to have had the best mother.

Elsie stayed at the home place up until her stroke two years prior to her passing. Her family, her home and that small little slice of heaven called the Gap were her whole world. She was blessed to get to spend the years she had on this earth in that wonderful place called home. She spent her final years at the Cherokee Rose Nursing Home in Glen Rose, being visited by family and friends. Elsie lived a full and blessed life, a life of service. She can now “Rest in the Arms of Jesus.” There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.

Revelations 21:4 Elsie was preceded in death by her parents Canute and Pearl Carlson; her loving husband Mack Phillips; and Sister Connie Smith.

Left to cherish her sweet memories are daughters Tracine Anderson of Clifton, Maxine and Eddie Tindell of Cranfills Gap and Jeanne and Craig Wallace of Glen Rose; son Jeff and Karen Phillips of Glen Rose; and grandchildren Kyle Simmons, Krista Simmons, Anthony Anderson, Brian Anderson, Mitch Phillips, Byron Phillips, Matt Hannah, Michael Hannah, Mark Hannah, Stacy Nail Viss, Chad Nail, Dirk Tindell, Kelli Tindell and Donny Ratliff.

Pallbearers were Maurice Johnson, Donny Ratliff, Chad Nail, Mitch Phillips, Byron Phillips and Mark Hannah.

Memorials may be made to St. Olaf Lutheran Memorial Fund.