NEWPORT NEWS - Esper Birge Phillips Smith, 104, died Thursday, March 13, 2014 at Riverside Regional Medical Center after a short illness. A Native of Bonifay, Florida, she was a Peninsula resident most of her life, and a member of Ivy Farms Baptists Church in Newport News, Virginia. She was preceded in death by her husbands, Turner O. Phillips and William Smith, her eldest daughter and her husband, Betty P. and William S. Lee of Friendswood, Texas, and grandson Pirret Knox of Seaford, Virginia. Survivors include three daughters, Joan P. and husband Dr. John D. Millar of Murrayville, Georgia, Joyce P. and husband Dr. William P. Knox of Seaford, Virginia, Frances P. and husband Ernest P. Higgins of Newport News, and one son, Dr. Harvey A. Phillips and wife Betty of Ashland, Virginia. She also had 17 grandchildren, 28 great-grandchildren, 5 great great grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews.The family would like to thank her doctors and caregivers, Margaret, Myra and Gloria, who gave mother the wonderful care needed to allow her to remain at home to enjoy her deck, flowers and garden. A funeral service will be conducted at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, March 18, at Peninsula Funeral Home by Dr. Mark White, with visitation one hour prior to the service. The burial will be immediately following in Peninsula Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Peninsula Rescue Mission, 3700 Huntington Ave., Newport News, VA 23607, or may be made online.
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Peninsula Funeral Home
11144 Warwick Boulevard Newport News, VA 23601
Published in Daily Press on Mar. 16, 2014