Dr. Jeanette Collier Phillips

Published 1:53 pm Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Dr. Jeanette Collier Phillips, 85, died June 13, 2017. A celebration of her wonderful life will be held Friday, June 16, 2017 at 1 p.m. at First Baptist Church in Oxford with Dr. Robert Allen officiating. Burial will follow in Oxford Memorial Cemetery. Visitation will be held prior to the service beginning at 11 a.m. until service time in the area adjoining the atrium at First Baptist Church. Waller Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

A native of Kewanee, east of Meridian, Mississippi, Dr. Phillips was valedictorian of her high school class at Dixie Highway High School. Thereafter, she attended Blue Mountain College. Following her graduation in 1953, Phillips received a scholarship at the University of Mississippi where she began work on her master’s degree in Home Economics, which she earned in 1954, followed by her doctorate degree from Ole Miss in 1973.

Dr. Phillips began her teaching career at Hurricane High School in Pontotoc County in 1954. From there, she joined the staff at University High School in Oxford and three years later joined the Department of Home Economics at the University of Mississippi where she taught nutrition, marriage and family life and related courses. She devoted her life to teaching and improving nutritional programs throughout Mississippi and across the nation. Foremost, she was a beloved and gracious teacher who touched the lives of thousands of students and was a steadfast confidant to peers, friends, family and faculty.

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From 1974 to 1982, Dr. Phillips was involved in research in Women’s Studies, Fun Way to Teach Nutrition, The Role of Women in Business, The Relationship Between Nutritional Knowledge and Eating Habits of Selected College Students, and Nutritional Education Curriculum Materials.

During her distinguished career at the University of Mississippi, Dr. Phillips served in all professional ranks as well as chair of the Department of Home Economics. During her tenure at Ole Miss she received numerous honors, including Outstanding Teacher Award, the University of Mississippi; Outstanding Teacher Award, School of Education; Magnolia Award; Mississippi Dietetics Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Profession of Nutrition; Leston L. Love Award for Outstanding Service in the Area of Students; Teacher of the Year Award; and Mortar Board. She also was initiated into Omicron Delta Kappa, an honorary fraternity, which recognizes the highest degree of service, leadership and scholarship at the university.

In 1991, Dr. Phillips and others accepted the challenge and responsibility of building an institute for child nutrition professionals. Through her tenacity and vision, she led the lobbying effort to locate the National Food Service Management Institute at the University of Mississippi. In honor of her years of service and her accomplishments, the street that passes in front of the Institute was named Jeanette Phillips Drive to create a lasting reminder of her contributions to the University of Mississippi, the State of Mississippi and our nation’s children. In 2013, Dr. Phillips was honored with a distinguished service award for her accomplishments at the Centennial Celebration of the Department of Nutrition and Hospitality Management at Ole Miss.

Beyond her teaching career, Dr. Phillips was the first woman to serve on the Board of Directors for the Oxford-Lafayette Chamber of Commerce from 1974-77. Along with her husband, Jesse, she owned and operated Jeannie’s Hallmark Shoppe and Rebel Press Office Supply Co. for decades, while balancing her teaching career.

As a faithful and loving member of First Baptist Church in Oxford since 1954, Dr. Phillips was a co-founder of the Sunflower Department in Sunday school which continues to minister to special education clients at the North Mississippi Regional Center in Oxford. She was also an accompanist for the church choir, served as Director of the Vacation Bible School for several years and served on the Baptist Student Advisory Board. Dr. Phillips was one of two Mississippi representatives on the Christian Life Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention from 1975-84.

Survivors include two sons, Tim Phillips and his wife, Terri, and Andy Phillips, both of Oxford; six grandchildren, Margaret Goodwyn Bankston, Mary August Shivers, Collier Phillips, Pittman Phillips, Drew Phillips, and Grace Turner; and two great-grandchildren, Daniel and Ava. She was preceded in death by her husband of 60 years, Jesse P. Phillips, and by a son, Dan Phillips.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Daniel M. Phillips Memorial Scholarship at University of Mississippi Foundation, 406 University Avenue, Oxford, MS 38655.

For additional information or to sign an online guestbook, please visit our website at www.wallerfuneralhome.com or call 662-234-7971.