Lauretta Ruth Phillips
Herkimer, New York
Lauretta Ruth Babcock Phillips, 80, of Herkimer, passed away peacefully at the FoltsBrook Center in Herkimer, NY, on February 9, 2021.
Lauretta ‘Ruthie’ was born August 6, 1940 in Brandywine, Maryland, the daughter of the late Seldon and Etta Babcock. Lauretta graduated from Syracuse University, earning her degree in nursing and went on to work first in Ilion Hospital and then Little Falls Hospital until retiring in the late 1990s. She married the late Earl William Phillips, of Herkimer, and together they gave life to their two children, Kathrine Lorraine Phillips Franklin and David Charles Phillips, who they raised on the country roads of Herkimer surrounded by nature and their beloved pets.
Devotion was Lauretta’s life motto. In addition to being a devoted wife, mom, sister, daughter, and friend Lauretta dedicated her life to her patients and co-workers at Little Falls Hospital. While not working, she spent her days nurturing the abundant and lush flower gardens surrounding her home. Their vacations were spent ‘back home’ in Brandywine with family and friends, or camping at Kindervolk, where she would meet up with loved ones.
Love was Lauretta’s legacy. When it came to love and devotion, Lauretta was not traditional. She opened her home and heart to Earl’s kin, embracing his children and grandchildren from previous marriages as her own. They knew her as “Grandma Laurie,” and still hold close the memories of happier times when the family would gather for the holidays, especially at Christmas, sharing hours of laughter and love. Cooking for her family was important to Lauretta, and she will always be remembered for her Candy Cane Bread at Christmas, her chicken and rice casserole, but most fondly for her “burnt Rice a Roni.” She was diligent at writing letters to loved ones, and always made sure she kept in touch with her best childhood friends and her long-distance family with heartfelt penned notes updating regularly about her children and life.
In addition to writing letters, reading was a favorite pastime which she shared with her children. In her early retirement years, Lauretta would volunteer with the local literacy program, and spent hours volunteering at the Frank J. Basloe Library in Herkimer helping people learn how to read.
In addition to her children, Kathy (Tim) Franklin and David (Janine) Phillips, survivors include her sister, Elaine Sue Polinsky and her Babcock nieces and nephews and great-nephews, including Albert Young, Amanda Laubough, Carol (Scott) Maynard, Nick (Cheryl) Ernest-Maynard and Nicole Young and Isaac Borgstrom. On the Phillips side, Lauretta leaves behind Earl Phillips, Jr., Carol Phillips, Jimmy Phillips, Lisa Polley, Debbie Albright, Earl Phillips III, Harold Phillips, son-in-law Larry Listovich and grandchildren, Jay Warner, Michele Vandawalker, Chrissy Webb, and Annie Perry, their spouses and children, and numerous other grandchildren and great grandchildren. Also feeling the emptiness left by her passing are her best friend Beverly (Eric) Lawson and the daughters of her predeceased best friend, Peggy Depew: Sandy Depew, Michele Carlson, Cheryl Depew Hicks, Theresa Herman, and their families. In addition to her husband and best friend, Lauretta is also predeceased by her brother, Arthur Kenyon Babcock, her niece Lauretta Young, and her step-daughter Jeanne Listovich.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, June 19, 2021 commencing at 1 pm from Mohawk Valley Funerals and Cremations, 7507 State Route 5 (between Little Falls and St. Johnsville), 315-508-5131. There will be a celebration of Lauretta's life outside of the funeral home directly following the formal service. Burial will be privately held in Mohawk Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Alzheimer’s Association, Alz.org or to the Frank J. Basloe Library, 245 North Main St. Herkimer, NY 13350. Lauretta and her family's care has placed in the trust of Mohawk Valley Funerals and Cremations, 7507 State Route 5 (corner of Bidelman Road), Little Falls, 315-508-5131.