Janet Alice (Praeger) Phillips passed away on Wednesday, May 20, 2020, at the age of 91. Her years on this earth were filled with love of family, community, church, birds, nature, and learning itself.
She was born in Bangkok, Siam, (now Thailand) where her father initiated an airmail service for the King of Siam. He had previously introduced the first airmail service in the U.S. in 1918. Janet was preceded in death by her parents, Otto Praeger and Carrie Will (Coffman) Praeger of Washington D.C., and her husband, Colonel Charles L. Phillips. She is survived by her six children and their spouses, twelve grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren, and two sisters, Elinor Goettel of Southbury CT, and Helen Praeger Young of Palo Alto CA.
Her surviving children and their spouses are: Rebecca Phillips (Carl Whitman), Washington, DC; Lori
Goering (Daniel), Berlin, Germany; Dr. Charles Phillips (Yuliya), Portland, OR; Dr. Tom Phillips (Martha), Beverly Hills, MI; Attorney Diana Phillips (Bobby Burns), Chattanooga; and Dr. Ruth Anne Phillips, Takoma Park, MD. Her grandchildren are: John, Timothy, Jesse, Mark, David, and Jana Goering; and Stephanie, Anya, Jessica, and Bryce Phillips; as well as Clay and Carrie Will Ludwig. Her great-grandchildren are: Joshua, Sarah, Luke, Leah, Eliana, Sophia, Noah, and Käthe Goering.
Janet grew up in Washington, D.C., and San Diego, CA. She attended Cornell University where she received her Bachelor’s degree and where she met her future husband.
She married 2nd Lt. Charles L. Phillips in the Main Post Chapel at Ft. Knox, KY, in 1949 and was an Army wife for 25 years, moving 20 times before his retirement in 1974. Along the way, she gardened in seven states with differing soils and climates, landscaped three of their homes, and decided that landscaping was what she wanted to do professionally once they settled down. They came to Chattanooga upon his retirement just as Chattanooga State began offering a landscape program as a Business Management option. She entered and completed this two-year program, which gave her the knowledge she needed to start her own company, Landscape Arts, Inc., which served the greater Chattanooga area for 37 years. Landscape Arts was chosen as the premier landscape design company for twelve consecutive years by Services Select.
Settling down in Chattanooga, Janet was also active in New Hope Presbyterian Church and in community affairs:
She served her church as a Sunday School teacher, sang in the choir, played handbells, was President of the Women of the Church, District Chairperson of Presbyterian Women, and served on the Session of New Hope as ruling Elder for several different terms.
She served as Director and Past President of the Downtown Lioness Club; Director and Past President of Chattanooga Audubon Society; Cofounder, Director, and Past President of the Chattanooga Association of Landscape Professionals; and Director of Brainerd Kiwanis.
She will be remembered by her children as a brilliant, talented mother who nurtured in them her own love of learning and many interests. They were life-long gifts that came with limitless possibilities.
Janet’s funeral will be held at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, DC, later this year, where she will be buried next to her husband. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that memorial contributions be sent in her name to the Chattanooga Audubon Society at P.O. Box 21219, Chattanooga, TN 37424 or online at www.chattanoogaaudubon.org.
You may visit www.heritagechattanooga.,com to share condolences to the family and view the memorial tribute.
Arrangements are by Heritage Funeral Home, 7454 E. Brainerd Road.
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