Happy Birthday Leona Catherine Miller

Leona Catherine Miller (1899-1976)

Leona Catherine Miller was born on 26 Aug 1899 in rural Sandwich, De Kalb, Illinois as the only child of Frank Palmer Miller and Mary Leona Stolp. She grew up on the family farm in Sandwich, DeKalb, Illinois.

Leona Catherine Miller

Leona Catherine Miller.

Leona’s mother died in 1915, before Leona’s 16th birthday. She and her father took care of each other. He played fiddle at dances and brought Leona along, perhaps to ward off women who might be interested in the widower. Leona attended Sandwich High School, doing well in school and enjoying social activities. She was a member of the graduating class of 1918.

Leona Catherine Miller

Leona Catherine Miller.

A note to Leona from a classmate from Sandwich High School

A note to Leona from a classmate at Sandwich High School.

Party at Leona Miller's house

Party at Leona Miller’s house.

Class reunion at Leona Miller's house

Class reunion at Leona Miller’s house.

Leona met Floyd Phillips at a dance. They courted for years and years. He spent his summers farming in Canada with his family and never mentioned marriage. Eventually, Leona dated a boy from her neighborhood while Floyd was away. When he returned to Illinois and found out, he was really angry. He confronted Leona stating that he thought they had an understanding. Leona came back with something like, “that’s news to me.” He stormed off. He returned shortly and proposed marriage.

Leona’s dad passed away unexpectedly on 16 March 1925. That left Leona living with her Grandma Miller on the farm. Chaperoned by Grandma Miller, Floyd came home to Illinois to manage the farm. When she was 25, Leona married Floyd Boyce Phillips, son of Guy Allison Phillips and Gertrude Lovin Boyce, on 17 Apr 1925 in Sandwich, De Kalb, Illinois.

Floyd Boyce Phillips and Leona Catherine Miller had the following children:

  • Stuart Frank Phillips was born on 19 Sep 1926 in Woodward Hospital, Sandwich, De Kalb, Illinois. He married Betty Jane Stephens at the Federated Church in Sandwich, De Kalb, Illinois.  He died on 02 Dec 1987 in Copley Memorial Hospital, Aurora, Kane, Illinois at age 61. He was buried in Oak Mound Cemetery, Somonauk, De Kalb, Illinois.
  • Harold Wayne Phillips was born on 25 Feb 1931 in Sandwich, De Kalb, Illinois. He died at birth.
  • Lowell “Rusty” James Phillips was born on 28 Jan 1932 in Woodward Hospital, Sandwich, De Kalb, Illinois. He married Marilyn Jean MacWilliam  in Massachusetts. He died on 31 Oct 1995 in Arlington, Tarrant, Texas at age 63. He is buried at Colleyville, Tarrant, Texas.
  • Coralee Mae Phillips was born  in Woodward Hospital, Sandwich, De Kalb, Illinois. She married James Frederick Krueger.

Leona and Floyd farmed the farm that her parents had farmed and her mother’s parents had farmed. This is the Phillips Family Farm that is still in the family. In addition to traditional crops, they grew asparagus. In the early 1950s, they built a new house across the road from the family farm and son, Stuart, moved to the family homestead.

Leona was an active member of her church and her community.

Leona and Coralee

Leona and Coralee.

Coralee, Stuart and Leona

Coralee, Stuart and Leona.

Floyd and Leona with children Rusty and Coralee

Floyd and Leona with children Rusty and Coralee.

Floyd and Leona Phillips.

Floyd and Leona Phillips, 1954.

Leona and Floyd Phillips family, 1965

Leona and Floyd Phillips family, 1965.

Leona Catherine Miller Phillips died on 11 Feb 1976 in Sandwich, De Kalb, Illinois at age 76.  She was buried 13 Feb 1976 in Oak Ridge Cemetery, Sandwich, De Kalb, Illinois.

2016-08-13-Oak Ridge Cemetery (2)

Descendants of Leona Catherine Miller Phillips, Oak Ridge Cemetery, August 2016.

Where is she in the tree?

Leona-Miller-Tree

How can I learn more?

Eventually, a book on the Miller family will be available, but for now, you can learn about Leona and her married life in the book, The Phillips Family. For information on how to obtain a copy, see the Phillips page.

Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed