Patricia “Pat” Jolene Phillips, age 74, of Coloma, WI, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2021 at Theda Care Hospital in Wild Rose after a brief illness.
Pat was born June 17, 1947 in Sterling, IL to Edwin and Elizabeth (Darnell) Bowers, the oldest of 5 children. At an early age their family moved to Coloma and farmed for many years. Pat attended Coloma Grade School and Westfield High School, graduating in the Class of 1965. It was in grade school where she met her future husband, William D. “Bill” Phillips. They dated in high school, and they were united in marriage on July 23, 1966 in Chicago, IL.
After marriage, Pat & Bill settled in the Chicago area and started a family. In 1978 they moved back to the Coloma area to be closer to other family members. There, Pat started driving school bus for the Westfield School District (following in her father’s footsteps), and drove for the district for more than 36 years. During that time, she safely delivered thousands of children to their destination, whether it was to school, back home, or on the countless field trips or sporting event trips she drove for. Pat took great pride in her bus driving abilities and enjoyed being able to get to personally know many of the students that she drove for, both during their school years and after graduation.
Pat was involved in the Montello Racing Pigeon Club, and was the first female member of the group. After she stopped racing pigeons, she continued to drive the pigeons to their race release destinations for 30+ years. These trips used to take her to many different Midwest locations, including trips as far away as Topeka, KS. There were many times where she left in the afternoon or evening before race-day and would drive all night in a pickup truck and modified 5th wheel horse trailer to get to the morning release point. There, she would make sure the pigeons were all taken care of and given water prior to release, and then sent them on their way to race back home.
Pat enjoyed gardening, raising chickens, and making sure her numerous bird feeders were full. There were always many types of birds that would visit the feeders, and she knew the name of every type of bird that came to eat. Pat volunteered time during the PBS Wisconsin Garden & Landscape Expo when she was able to. She was also a cat and dog lover; no stray cat was ever turned away and was always fed. Some of the dogs that she and Bill had as pets were rescued from less fortunate circumstances. She loved every one of them.
Pat is survived by her husband of 55 years, Bill. She is also survived by her son, Bill (Cindy) Phillips; her daughter, Christine Phillips; her brothers, Jim (Dee) Bowers, Bob (Sandy) Bowers, & Mike (Laurie) Bowers; her grandchildren, Brittney (Amanda) Ahles-Zuehlke, Danielle (Christian) Nielsen, Alicia Zuehlke; her “adopted” grandchildren, Sophia & Christian Heo; her great-grandchildren, Christian “CJ”, Payton and Sawyer; and numerous nieces & nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents; her sister, Mary Bowers; and sister-in-law, Diana Bowers.
A memorial service for Pat will be held on Thursday, December 30, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. at New Beginnings Christian Community Church in Westfield with Pastor Terry Temanson officiating. A luncheon will follow the service at the church. A visitation will be held on Thursday from 9:00 to 10:45 a.m. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Coloma Fire Department or Waushara County Animal Shelter would be appreciated.
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