Leota Joann Phillips (née Taylor) of Mountainair was surrounded by her family when she passed away May 4 at the age of 82. Born on a small farm in Rye, Colo. pn June 21, 1934, she lived a thousand lives and wore more hats than can be counted: She worked as a bookkeeper for Creamland Dairy; started and ran an antique shop for a number of years; was a political enthusiast and supporter on a local and national level; nursed both animals and people to health; and maintained her beloved ranch in Mountainair until the age of 81. She loved anything to do with learning, and voraciously reading, doing crossword puzzles, and watching Jeopardy helped keep her mind sharp until the very end. To say she was an extraordinary being does no justice to the person we knew and love. She was preceded in death by her mother and father, Francis Taylor and Henry McCurry-Taylor, her first husband Chester “Chet” Bishop, infant son Jeffery Edward Bishop, and second husband Eugene Anthony Phillips. She is survived by her daughter, Melissa Kerby and husband Jason; her son, Weldon Joe Phillips, wife Maria, and their children Virginia, Victoria, and Weldon Anthony; her daughter/granddaughter Jo Anna Nevada, husband Robert, and their children (her great-grandchildren) Ava and Iris Eller, all of Albuquerque; stepson Dale Phillips, wife Mangey, and their son Ethan of Lithia, Fla.; her sister Elizabeth Fountain and husband Henry of Mountainair, and sister Arlene Stolz of Pueblo, Colo. Beyond her family, she is survived by her “good neighbors” David and Brenda Cain, and their children, among many other beloved friends. Services were held at her home outside Mountainair on May 13. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the following fund which will benefit Friendship Gardens Assisted Living Facility, the place where she spent her final days being cared for and loved with amazing kindness by the beloved staff by visiting gofundme.com/friendship-gardens-benefit.
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