Photography

Pearl (Phillips) Thomas

September 3, 2020

Obituary

PEARL (PHILLIPS) THOMAS

It is with both love and sadness that the family of Pearl Muriel (Phillips) Thomas announce her passing in the early hours of Thursday, September 3, 2020 at Seven Oaks Hospital in Winnipeg.

Pearl, aged 70, passed into the presence of her Heavenly Father following a long struggle with pain brought about by childhood polio, and with many health complications during her adult life.

Among those giving thanks for her life are her loving sons, Stephen and family in Winnipeg, and Daniel in New Westminster, BC. Also grieving her loss are those in her loving family: David and Cathie Phillips of Toronto, ON; Dorothy (Phillips) and Jack Reimer of Victoria, BC; and Don Phillips, of Vancouver, BC; also, their nieces and nephews, aunts, and cousins, as well as numerous friends in Canada and the USA.

Pearl was predeceased by her loving husband Dennis in 1995; her mother, Hazel Phillips, in 1997; and her father, Rev. Kenneth Phillips, in 2001.

Pearl was born on August 21, 1950 in Eldoret, Kenya, East Africa, daughter of missionary parents, Ken and Hazel Phillips. She became ill with polio at the age of two and received medical attention in Winnipeg in 1953-4. During her 17 years in Kenya, she called several places home. Her entire schooling was at Rift Valley Academy, where she majored in literature, music, and theatre. Pearl’s life-long vision was to become a teacher. She received her Teaching Diploma at the University of Manitoba. Pearl’s dream was realized when she began to teach in the elementary school in Lac du Bonnet, and after her marriage, she taught in Selkirk.

Following her marriage to Dennis in 1973, they set up their home in Selkirk, Manitoba where they raised their two sons, Stephen and Daniel. Their love of books inspired them to start a business, Grace Book Store. This brought joy and satisfaction until poor health interfered with the physical demands of operating their own business. Both were prolific writers and enjoyed music and singing. Dennis had a specialty of playing the harmonica and Pearl accompanied him on the piano. In 2017, Pearl published Dennis’ poems in the book “Poems for Life’s Seasons”, a volume treasured by many.

After the death of her husband in 1995 in Selkirk, and then her parents in Winnipeg, she worked in Winnipeg at several long-term care homes. She called many of these older persons her special friends. All her life, she loved music, played the piano, and developed the ability to play songs by ear. She gladly shared her musical talents broadly with church groups and many seniors’ homes in Winnipeg. She loved plants and gardening; sunflowers were her favorite. At home, she never tired of following the news; she was an avid commentator on world-wide events. She kept a detailed record of devastations world-wide, always continuing to pray for people thus affected. She commented that as she prayed for the people impacted by these events, the acute pains she lived with would subside.

Pearl was a strong Christian who lived out her faith in everyday situations. She never tired of taking difficult circumstances to her Lord in prayer. She attempted to view each event in life through the lens of her favorite Bible verses. Romans 8:28 was her constant source of strength to her.

Pearl treasured her 23 years of marriage to her beloved Dennis. After Dennis’ death she managed independently for another 25 years. She took pride and joy in her sons, Stephen and Daniel. She will be lovingly remembered by her sons, siblings, relatives, and friends.

Anyone wishing to donate to charity in her memory, may give to one’s choice.

Stephen and Daniel wish to thank Gilbart’s Funeral Home, Selkirk, for arrangements made during this difficult time of Covid-19. Because of the pandemic, a web page will be made available for those who wish to leave a comment, share a photograph, or remind others of the special friendship and love by which Pearl will be remembered.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Pearl (Phillips) Thomas, please visit our floral store.


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