Weatherford Democrat


May 1, 2014

Wilma Bunnell Phillips

Wilma Bunnell Phillips passed peacefully into the presence of Christ early Wednesday morning. 

She was born two days after Christmas in 1928 to Joseph Elmer and Myrtle Childress Bunnell in Jack County, Texas. She graduated from Jacksboro High School in 1946 and was working for the gas company in 1951 when she met Robert “Rhody” Phillips, who had come to town to oversee drilling on her uncle’s property. After a short courtship, he asked her if she would like to “fix lunches for a driller,” and they were married on Feb. 2, 1952.

Although the job necessitated frequent travel and relocation, the couple settled in Farmington, New Mexico, shortly after their marriage. During this time, they enjoyed hunting, camping, fishing, riding horses and taking nieces and nephews to the Dairy Queen for ice cream. Near the end of this time in Farmington, their only child, Patricia Ann was born.

After moving back to Texas in 1966, they made their home in Mineral Wells, where Mrs. Phillips lived until her illness in 2009. In addition to working in the insurance business, she was also successful in real estate and was especially proud of earning her brokers’ license in the early 70s. When her husband helped to organize Northridge Oil, she gave up real estate to manage the Mineral Wells office until her retirement in 1992.

Above all these things, she was a woman of faith. She was a member of First Baptist Church Mineral Wells, where she served various roles in the Francis Furr Sunday School Class.

Another way she expressed her commitment to Christ and love for others was through her poetry. In quiet moments of solitude, she sang old hymns and played the piano.

In addition to her husband and parents, her two brothers, Monroe and Elvis Bunnell and their wives also preceded her in death. Those left to cherish her memory are her daughter, Tricia Tuma; son-in-law, Mike Tuma; granddaughter, Olivia Tuma, all of Weatherford; sister-in-law, Gwendolyn Adcock, of Albuquerque, New Mexico; brothers-in-law, Harold G. Phillips, of Mineral Wells, Jessie W. Phillips, of Detroit, Michigan, and Dr. John Crawford and wife, Kathryn, of Arkadelphia, Arizona; as well as nieces, nephews and friends too numerous to name.

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