Jean Eskridge Phillips

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CAMBRIDGE - Jean Eskridge Phillips, wife, mother, family matriarch, business founder, naturalist, avid reader and lover of life, died Friday morning. Jean was born in Galestown, Md. and spent her formative years living on a farm at Cooks Point near Cambridge, Md., where she became a 4-H All Star and developed a life-long passion for the Chesapeake Bay, its wildlife and seafood. Jean graduated from Cambridge High School and was awarded a scholarship to attend the University of Maryland in College Park, where she met her future husband of sixty-four years, Albert. As an alumna, Jean joined Albert as an enthusiastic Maryland Terp supporter as she loved football games and ACC basketball tournaments. Jean's primary passion was her family above all what defined her was her love for her husband, Albert, and the interdependence they created through the sixty-four years of their marriage. Jean's life was a testament to the Protestant ethic of being called to duty to work diligently. Jean raised seven healthy and impressive children, seven kids born in a ten-year period, raised in the Annapolis communities of Severn Grove and Gingerville. She had great love for her siblings and cousins and those of her husband, Albert, her children, their spouses, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and extended family. In 1961, Albert and Jean founded the Phillips Machinery & Supply Company to provide local industry with machines and tools to help with their manufacturing processes. Through the years the family business became the central focus of considerable energy for both family prosperity and social life. The company was born in College Park, an expression of the founder's love for the University of Maryland. Jean was a wonderful Ambassador for the company, engaging customers, suppliers, employees, and various stakeholders. Phillips Corporation continues with great success today as a global supplier of manufacturing technology. Jean was a great cook, constantly experimenting with both the southern-style Eastern shore cooking such as chicken and dumplings and Syrian food from her husband's heritage. She loved entertaining; the annual pig roast in support of the Prince Georges County Kiwanis Club was the highlight of many family events she hosted. Jean had a passion for the family tradition of quilting and developed strong friendships through participation in Annapolis quilting bees. Jean created beautiful quilts for each of her fifteen grandchildren. In 1997, Jean and Albert moved back to her hometown of Cambridge to live in a house facing the Choptank River on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Old friendships were re-established and new friendships created. She was preceded in death by her son, Byron in 2007; and loving sister, Edith Eskridge in 2010. Jean is survived by her husband, Albert; her children, Alan, Hollis, Gregory and his wife Patricia, Matthew and his wife Julie, Pamela and her husband Alan, and Wayne and his wife Luanne; and her daughter-in-law, Theresa Phillips; two brothers, Ellis Eskridge and his wife Frances, and Ralph Eskridge both of Cambridge; 15 grandchildren, Camille Angleberger, Deborah Alcaraz, John Phillips, Rachel Phillips, Frederick Cressman, Gabrielle Phillips, Kelley Cressman, Albert Phillips, Brendan Phillips, MacKenzie Phillips, Luke Phillips, Zane Phillips, Adelaide Phillips, Ava Phillips, and Sam Phillips; step-grandson, Alex Cressman; along with numerous nieces and nephews. The funeral was Tuesday, March 5, 2013 with greetings at 10 a.m. and service at 11 a.m. at the Zion Methodist Church in Cambridge, Md. In lieu of flowers, charitable donations can be made to Horn Point Laboratories (which is an oyster restoration facility), P.O. Box 775, Cambridge, Maryland 21613, checks payable to USM Foundation.

Published in NewsZapMD on Mar. 6, 2013
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