Virginia Phillips Vincent

Memorial Service

7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Monday, May 21, 2018
St. Michael's Episcopal Church
6500 Amwood
Lansing, Michigan, United States

Obituary of Virginia Phillips Vincent

Virginia Christinia Phillips Vincent


Died May 9, 2018, age 80. Born Virginia Christinia Phillips on 27 January 1938 in London, England, the daughter of Ernest John Phillips and Cynthia Rose Clinton Baddeley.  She was sent away to boarding school at the age of two to avoid the bombing of London and spent the early years of her life in boarding schools and at home, mostly in Booker, Buckinghamshire.  At the age of fourteen she and her sister accompanied their mother to America to join their father who had emigrated some years earlier.  Her mother soon returned to England, and Virginia stayed with her father who promised to pay for her education.  They settled in Grand Rapids, but when he decided, during her junior year at Grand Rapids Creston, to move to California, she was determined to live on her own and finish high school, which she did in 1956.  Awarded a scholarship to Kalamazoo College, she majored in English and was active in the theatre.  It was in Drama Club that she met her future husband, Bill.  They married in 1961, a year after graduating from Kalamazoo College, and she supported him as a lab assistant while he pursued a Ph.D. in history from Yale University.  Bill got a job in the Humanities Department at Michigan State University in 1965, and the two have made their home first in East Lansing, and then on a farm in Holt for fifty-three years.  Highly talented at handi-crafts, she worked as a professional knitter for many years.  She loved chocolate, travel, gardening, classical music, talking books, Masterpiece Theatre, and her dogs and horses.  For more than thirty years, she suffered through a number of debilitating ailments—breast cancer, arthritis, ruptured tendons caused by bad medicine, continual internal bleeding from an unidentifiable source, the loss of first one leg and then the other due to blood clots.  Through it all, she remained strong, optimistic, and cheerful—a marvel and a model to all who knew her.  Her final battle was unexpected, brief, and one she could not win.  She is survived by Bill, her loving husband of fifty-seven years, her beloved son, Jolyon, her much adored grandchildren Ana-mai and Elijah and their mother, Tammy Garner, and by the twins, Isabella and Isaiah.  Also by her sister Francis Miller and her two daughters, Valerie Rolsma and Michele Monahan, and by her brother-in-law John Vincent, his wife Judy, and their girls, Jenny Ginther and Katie Lowran.  Also by Ziggy, the last in a line of Shetland sheepdogs, and her two elderly horses, Rusty and Najm.  A memorial service will be held at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, 6500 Amwood Drive, Lansing, MI 48911 at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, 22 May, with a reception afterward at the church.  In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate a donation to the Lansing Symphony Orchestra. Arrangements by Tiffany Funeral Home.  Friends may visit the guest book at

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