Mary Ruth Phillippe Thompson, 98, of Savoy, stepmother of a Rantoul resident, died Friday, June 28, 2019, at home with family members present.
A memorial service will be at 1 p.m. Friday, July 5, at The Windsor of Savoy. The family will hold a private interment at Woodlawn Cemetery, Urbana.
She was born Sept. 16, 1920, in Columbus, Ohio, the first of four children born to Lloyd and Margaret Copeland.
Survivors are her sons, David Phillippe (Judy) of Tucson, Ariz., and Robert Phillippe (Carol) of Champaign; and one stepdaughter, Patsy Harrington of Rantoul; as well as her grandchildren, Abbe (Daniel) Phillippe Barfield, Samuel (Tracy) Phillippe, Jayne (Dan) Wood, Jessica Phillippe and Andy Phillippe; and stepgrandchildren, Denise Rhodes, Chuck Zech and Ted Zech. She had many great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her parents; one daughter, Margaret Collins; one stepdaughter, Judy Wright; one grandson, Lloyd Collins; brothers, Lawrence Copeland and William Copeland; and sister, Elizabeth Buford.
She received a bachelor of arts at Muskingum University, Ohio, and a master’s degree in plant pathology from the University of Illinois. Her career in plant research as an electron microscopist began after graduation at the U of I and continued at Southern Illinois University after a move to Lake of Egypt, Ill.
In 1951, she and her family moved to Managua, Nicaragua, where her husband, Paul Phillippe, was an agronomist for the U.S. State Department. After returning to the United States, the family settled in Champaign County.
In 1964, she married Theodore “Ted” Thompson and eventually built a home at Lake of Egypt. After retirement, she and her husband moved to Titusville, Fla., and began traveling extensively, both in the U.S. and abroad. Memorable trips included Costa Rica, the Carribean and two trips in campers from Florida to Alaska.
She enjoyed reading, quilting and needlepoint. She spent her Windsor of Savoy years volunteering for Carle in many areas, playing bridge several times a week, staying busy with her many activities at The Windsor and volunteering at her church. She loved family holidays and celebrations. She never missed sending a birthday or anniversary card.
Memorials are requested to The Windsor of Savoy church or the Sierra Club.