Lauris Jardine Phillips
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Lauris Jardine Phillps
August 28, 1928 - June 18, 2013

Lauris Jardine Phillips, daughter of pioneering Southern California families and a vibrant presence in many lives, passed away in her San Marino home on June 18, surrounded by family. She was 84. In her last decade she endured many health setbacks, but her strong spirit and disarming wit never faded. Lauris was born in Los Angeles on August 28, 1928, to John Earle Jardine, Jr., and Laura Snyder Jardine. She spent happy childhood years on Balboa Island, then returned with family to Pasadena where she engaged in such daring feats as diving from the Huntington Hotel (now Langham) covered walk bridge into the swimming pool far below. After high school at Dominican Convent in San Rafael, she attended Scripps College. In her teens, she competed successfully in English equestrian events on her cherished thoroughbred, Grandpa, excelling in jumping. Her interest in horses cooled, however, after her older brother, Jack, brought home an intriguing new friend, Jim Phillips(James A. Phillips, III). They eloped in 1947 and married formally in 1949.

Lauris was irrepressibly creative, enterprising and ahead of her time, with talents that found brilliant expression in the fiber arts and dress design. In the early 1960s, she launched an innovative sportswear line, Cassandra Inc., that earned such esteemed outlets as I. Magnin, Bergdorf's and Lord & Taylor. Never one for half-measures, she bore five daughters and a son in short succession. Her busy schedule expanded to include carpools, school outings and scout troop leadership.

Lauris became fascinated with Southwest Indian jewelry and arts in the early '70s and, with Jim, established Fairmont Trading Co, which soon became a leader in the field. Her keen eye resulted in a world-class collection of Southwest jewelry and wide recognition as an expert judge of provenance and quality. In 2012, Lauris and Jim received a rare Lifetime Achievement Award from the Antique Tribal Art Dealers Assn. At age 50, Lauris renewed her passion for equine pursuits, this time embracing the Western style. She won countless ribbons, competing even in strenuous "cutting" events until age 70, when injury ended her riding career. She bred "paint" quarter horses through a new venture, Fairmont Farms, and produced a number of champions, including the American Paint Horse Assn. top-ranked horse for 1994. For several years, Lauris rode with the Valley Hunt Club equestrian contingent in the Pasadena Rose Parade. She effortlessly moved among the different worlds she came to inhabit and was loved by many. Befitting her unusual name, she was in every way an original, yet she harbored an abiding respect for tradition and decorum. Her memberships included the Pasadena Junior League, the Valley Hunt Club, and ATADA.

Lauris and Jim quietly celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary in November 2012, shortly before Jim's passing in December. She was also preceded in death by her daughter Melissa Phillips and brother John E. Jardine, III. She leaves behind four daughters, Cassandra Phillips (Robert Burkey) of Kamuela, HI; Holly Phillips of Los Angeles; Shelley Hauser of Etiwanda; and Poppy Mehlhaff (Allen) of Playa del Rey; and a son, James A. Phillips, IV, of San Gabriel. Other survivors include eight grandchildren and a great-grandchild. Donations may be made to the Pasadena Humane Society. A memorial service will be held Sat., June 29, 3 p.m., at Church of our Saviour, San Gabriel.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Pasadena Star-News from Jun. 25 to Jun. 26, 2013.
Memories & Condolences
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13 entries
June 17, 2019
I have been in New Mexico for the past week and of course visited Lauris's and Jim's wing at the Wheelwright. I always get a bit teary when I enter. So many memories of talks, if her passing on her valuable information and most of all, her friendship, warmth and enthusiasm. She will always be in my heart.
Marjorie Bloss
September 9, 2013
Mom, I miss you so.
July 14, 2013
Louris! Your inspiration changed my life! I will always remember your Friendship. Thank you for introducing to Fred Peshlakai's work. Art Tafoya Silversmith Abuquerque.
July 3, 2013
Lauris was more than a friend to my family, she was more like a mentor! I will surely miss her but I have so many great memories forever. Godspeed Lauris!
Dr. Nelson Sundbye
July 1, 2013
I remember Lauris when I was a very young child. Poppy rode horses with my parents, and the memories of them are countless. She was amazing, always someone I truly admired. She was kind, and most of all, took great care of those around her. It has been many years since we have spoken, but she will always be a light in my life.
Shannon Simms (Baker)
June 30, 2013
Given a chance knowing and being with you even for a short period of time will always have an impact to me.. though it only last a couple months, you never made me feel that way... Thank you for being who you are. Now, you're with GOD, I'm sure you can protect us even more..
Lot Clarin
June 27, 2013
She was my mentor, my teacher, my friend. She enriched my life, teaching me about Southwestern jewelry. I will treasure her memory always.
Marjorie Bloss
June 26, 2013
My deepest sympathies to family and friends. May our Father in heaven give you strength during this trying time...
June 26, 2013
For some reason, I keep thinking of Frank Sinatra's song, because Lauris surely, surely "Did It Her Way." She met Life with All Flags Flying, and I am proud to have known her for 40 years. We shall not see one like her again.
Mary Lou Walbergh
June 25, 2013
Your zeal and tenacity overflows though my passions. Mom, your "can do" attitude and fearlessness taught me to be resilient. I am relieved you are no longer in pain. Free from the limited structure of a body, which your spirit out grew years ago, now is finally able to soar. I am honored to be your daughter. Love you.
Poppy Phillips
June 25, 2013
What a beautiful woman. She will be missed.
Melissa Darvin
June 24, 2013
"When someone you love dies, you never quite get over it. You just slowly learn how to go on without them. But always keeping them tucked safely in your heart." You will always be a Special Part of Me, Mrs. Lauris Phillips - R.I.P.
- Jerome
Jerome Sablan
June 23, 2013
Lauris was a kind, intelligent and wise woman with a wonderful sense of humor. I learned the importance of patience, listening and how riding could make a better mother. Lauris had an impact on everyone she met, and the world is better for her life.
Marta Waller
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