Catherine Turner “Kitty” Phillips
Catherine Turner “Kitty” Phillips, born August 12th, 1908 in Corning, Iowa, passed away in peace and grace on August 17th 2011, five days after her 103rd birthday, in her bed at the Serenity House hospice in Santa Barbara, surrounded by family.
As a child she rode in her mother’s horse-drawn carriage, and at night her father read books to the family around the fire, a decade before the beginnings of broadcast radio; near the end of her life she rode in her daughter-in-law’s hybrid electric car, and listened to audio-books downloaded from the internet (as well as books read to her by her family). Of all the ways that the world had changed during her lifetime, she said (with her signature dry humor) that her favorite innovation was being able to buy pre-plucked chickens.
She graduated from Grinnell University in 1930, married Richard Phillips and bore two sons, David and John. They lived in Rockwell City and in Algona, Iowa, where she was the librarian for many years. She lived the last 14 years of her life in Santa Barbara with her daughter-in law Linda Phillips.
Kitty was happiest when serving others, and maintained that her longevity was the product of her decision to approach the trials of life with a peaceful, open-minded equanimity. She was predeceased by her husband and sons, and is survived by her grandsons Daniel and Glen of Santa Barbara, and Morgan, Bennett, and Julian of Toronto, Canada; her daughters-in-law; and many nieces, nephews, cousins and great-grandchildren, all of whom adored her.
At her request, there will be no memorial. Donations may be made in her honor to the Braille Institute, 2031 De La Vina Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93105