Ionia May Phillips, 89, of rural Liberal, entered the arms of Jesus, her Lord and Savior, on Saturday May 6, 2023. Ionia was born on April 29, 1934, the only child to Roy and Ivernia (Fitchpatrick) Hizar in rural Barton County. Ionia attended elementary and high school in Liberal, Missouri where she graduated with the class of 1952.
On July 6, 1952, she married Roger Phillips at Verdella Free Will Baptist Church. They raised three children, Clinton, Lora and Lynette. He preceded her in death on November 4, 2022. Prior to raising her children, Ionia worked as a telephone operator, worked at the ASCS office, and at the Barton County Memorial Hospital as a housekeeper.
Ionia spent her entire life serving others. She was a servant of God first, serving as a Sunday School Teacher, Youth Group leader, Church Camp Sponsor, and devoted prayer warrior. She drove many miles to pick people up to ensure they were in church. Next, she was a devoted wife who labored many hours beside her husband, making their home, pulling pigs, working in the hay field, and being the parts runner to name a few. She entertained many at their home over the years, feeding farm help, pastors, family, and anyone else that stopped by. You were always welcome in their home.
Ionia was a 4-H volunteer for over 50 years, helping her children, grandchildren and even great-grandchildren with their 4-H projects. She took joy in being able to help people achieve their goals by helping them to get where they needed to be no matter what time of day or what the cost. She was a faithful encourager who would always call and check on her neighbors, friends, and family.
Ionia is survived by a son, Clinton Phillips, daughters Lora (Lonnie) McWilliams and Lynette (Brent) Emmerson; grandchildren Charity (Craig) Burchett, Chris Waring, Josh Ablian, John (Kassidy) Emmerson and Amanda Emmerson; great-grandchildren Coby (Kinsie), Cooper Burchett, and Camryn Burchett, Kennedy Emmerson arriving in June; and great-great-grandchild Kooper Schaub.
Ionia was preceded in death by her parents, her husband of 70 years, and a great-granddaughter Caitlyn May Burchett.
If you would like to make a memorial donation in lieu of flowers the family suggests the Missouri Free Will Baptist Youth Camp (Camp Niangua) in care of the funeral home.
The family will receive visitors at Verdella Free Will Baptist Church on Tuesday May 9, 2023, from 6 PM to 8 PM and a funeral service will be held Wednesday May 10, 2023, at 10 AM at Verdella Free Will Baptist Church.
With sincerity and dedication of heart, we are committed to the time-honored traditions that we hope will make us a force for good on the side of our families and in our community. We provide our families with an open door policy. Please feel free to contact us 24 hours a day.
Konantz Warden Funeral Home
1301 Gulf St. LAMAR, MO, US 64759, Phone: (417) 682-3344 Fax: (844) 273-1086