In Memory of Edna Mae Phillips

Edna Mae Phillips
Edna Mae Phillips
Born: November 1, 1936
Died: January 7, 2021
Age: 84
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Edna Mae Phillips
November 1, 1936 - January 7, 2021
From: Ida Grove, IA

Edna Mae Phillips, age 84, of Ida Grove, Iowa, passed away on Thursday, January 7, 2021, at her residence of Ida Grove, Iowa.

A Private Family Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday, January 15, 2021, at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church of Ida Grove, Iowa. Father Richard D. Ball will officiate. Committal Services will follow in the Sacred Heart Catholic Cemetery of Ida Grove, Iowa. A Visitation will be held from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., with no family present, Thursday, January 14, 2021, at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church of Ida Grove, Iowa. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the Governor’s proclamation, masks are mandatory and social distancing rules apply. The Christensen-Van Houten Funeral Home of Ida Grove, Iowa, is in charge of the funeral arrangements.  Condolences may be sent online at

Edna Mae Phillips of rural Ida Grove, IA, passed away in her home at the age of 84 with family by her side on January 7, 2021, as a result of a long, courageous battle with cancer.  Edna, the daughter of Raymond and Edna (Hamann) Bumann, was born November 1, 1936, at the Hartley Memorial Hospital in Battle Creek, IA. She grew up on a farm south of Ida Grove, was a student at Grant #5 Country School until 8th grade and graduated from Ida Grove High School in 1955. The country school is now located at Moorhead Park. 

While growing up Edna was a member of the Grant Girls 4-H Club for nine years. She held numerous positions as an officer, was a 4-H County Council President, exhibited and gave presentations at the Iowa State Fair, sang on the radio, and modeled sportswear. Edna was a member of the Schleswig Calf Club and had a great love for country life and animals, especially horses.

In high school she participated in chorus and small group, was a cheerleader for girls/boys basketball and football, a member of the Thespians, and was one of the top six homecoming attendants her senior year. High school is where she met the love of her life, Thomas J. Phillips.

In 1955 Edna and Tom were united in marriage and this union was blessed with 14 children. They resided in Holstein, IA, for several years before moving in 1964 to their present family farm south of Ida Grove.

Edna was an active member of Sacred Heart Parish in Ida Grove where she taught CCD classes for 13 years and was a member of the Rosary Society. She served as a lector, a eucharistic minister, and an usher. In the past she was an active member of the athletic and music boosters, a member of the Horn Hospital Auxiliary where she served on the membership committee for seven years, a member of the Ida County Historical Society, and a charter member and officer of the Ida County Porkettes.

Edna worked as a produce and deli manager for 14 years beginning in 1983 for John’s Super Value, Joyce’s Foodland, and then Food Pride.

In the early 90’s Edna participated in the Iowa State Chili Cook Off and placed 2nd in the People’s Choice category. She made a pork chili and was sponsored by the Ida County Pork Producers. On the same weekend, she also was a member of the St. Patrick’s Sinking Blarney Stones in a Dragonboat Race on the Muddy Mississippi River in Burlington, IA. She was the drummer that beat the cadence for the paddlers to stay in sync.

Edna loved reading, cooking, gardening, hiking, traveling, playing cards, animals, antiquing, history and historical collectibles. Tom and Edna belonged to several card clubs, one of them they enjoyed for over 55 years. Edna loved to dance and in the 70’s Edna and Tom joined a square dance club. Even with all her hobbies, she was most happy when she had her husband, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren around her.

After retirement, at the age of 80 and the year of Edna and Tom’s 60th wedding anniversary, she was approached by a producer from New York City about taking part in a country cooking show called “My Grandmother’s Ravioli”. The name of her hour-long segment was called “If I Cook It, He Will Come” hosted by Mo Rocca. She was a natural in front of the camera and on occasion would be noticed by someone who had watched the show.

Edna was preceded in death by grandson Austin Krager; granddaughter Melissa Simmons; great-grandson Joseph Behrendsen; brothers Earl Bumann, Alvin Bumann, Edward Bumann, Ray Jr. Bumann; and sister Delores (Bumann) Linn; brothers-in-law:James Fleenor, Del Linn, Ed Skinner, and Richard Messer. 

Edna is survived by her loving husband of 65 years Tom Phillips of Ida Grove, IA; 9 sons and 5 daughters: Teresa (Dan) Koch of Council Bluffs, IA, Tim (Julie) Phillips of Ida Grove, IA, Shari (Scott) Simmons of Danbury, IA, Lori (Mark) Arkfeld of Defiance, IA, Tom Phillips Jr. of Ida Grove, IA, Alan (Lisa) Phillips of Leavenworth, KS, Curt (Kristal) Phillips of Holstein, IA, Christine (Keith) Krager of Ida Grove, IA, Patrick (Kriss) Phillips of Ida Grove, IA, Steve (Lori) Phillips of Ida Grove, IA, Mary (Doug) Clough of Ida Grove, IA, Craig (Stacy) Phillips of Sioux City, IA, John (Kristy) Phillips of North Liberty, IA and Andrew (Nikki) Phillips of Brooklyn, IA. She also leaves 44 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren; sisters Mildred Fleenor, Lois Skinner, Carol Clausen and Jeannette Messer; brother Roger Bumann; and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.


Private Family Mass of Christian Burial
Friday, January 15, 2021
Sacred Heart Catholic Church
Ida Grove, Iowa


Father Richard D. Ball


Danny Koch
Eric Phillips
Ricky Simmons
Nate Arkfeld
Justin Phillips
Tate Phillips
Autumne Ryan
Jordyn Fredericks

Honorary Pallbearers
Cole Phillips
William Phillips
Karlee Phillips
Kaci Behrendsen
Lacey Bengford


No Family Present During the Visitation
5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Thursday, January 14, 2021
Sacred Heart Catholic Church
Ida Grove, Iowa


"Amazing Grace"
"Ave Maria"
"Irish Blessing"

Kristal Phillips, Pianist


Sacred Heart Catholic Cemetery
Ida Grove, Iowa


Monday, January 18, 2021 at 10:58 AM
“Phillips family may condolences. Eda MAE was a great lady.”
- Marlene Schnidt
Friday, January 15, 2021 at 10:24 AM
“Tom and family my heart goes out to you. I can only begin to understand the loss you feel. Edna Mae always made me feel like part of your family whenever I was around her. You are in my thoughts and prayers. I know your faith will carry you through this sad time and I know also that all the good memories will keep Edna Mae always in your hearts.”
- Patty Nelson
Friday, January 15, 2021 at 10:24 AM
“My deepest sympathies to Tom and the entire Phillips family. ”
- Marshall Bumann
Thursday, January 14, 2021 at 9:41 AM
“Tom and family, so sorry to hear of Edna's passing. You have our deepest sympathy. She is in God's arms now.”
- Byron Hartwig
Thursday, January 14, 2021 at 9:41 AM
“I am so very sorry for your loss. I have been thinking about all of Edna Mae's family and am keeping everyone in my prayers. Edna Mae was such a lovely lady! ”
- Sheila Petersen
Thursday, January 14, 2021 at 9:41 AM
“I have so many memories of Aunt Edna Mae. All of them make me smile and laugh. Going to see the “Phillips kids” was so much fun growing up. Always an adventure happening at that house! One of my favorite memories was Tom and Edna Mae visiting me in NC and playing cards for hours and hours! I don’t think I won any of the games! She will be greatly missed by so many. Thinking of you all during this difficult time. She sure was one amazing lady! ”
- Michelle Pilos
Wednesday, January 13, 2021 at 9:13 AM
“I have the fondest memories of Edna Mae, from my childhood on. She was a terrific woman with so much spunk. You all have wonderful memories of her to cherish forever. May you find comfort and peace with the Lord's help.”
- Jim and Ann Holst
Wednesday, January 13, 2021 at 9:13 AM
“Tom and Family our thoughts and prayers are with all of you. Edna was always fun to be around. It has been a pleasure knowing her. ”
- Lee Brandt
Monday, January 11, 2021 at 11:48 AM
“Dear Tom & family, I shall fondly remember Edna Mae for her lovely smile, her delightful sense of humor & her positive attitude. She was truly an amazing gal & a marvelous cook. May your precious memories & the love you all share for her help to comfort you as you grieve. With sincere sympathy, Judy.”
- Judy Andresen
Monday, January 11, 2021 at 9:33 AM
“Steve, Mary and families I am so sorry for your loss. She was a wonderful lady. I will keep all of you in my heart and prayers. ”
- Rose Brueck
Monday, January 11, 2021 at 9:33 AM
“Edna Mae was a 'delightful lady', fun to chat with, and always made you smile. Our prayers to all her family. ”
- Marc and Marsha Kjar
Monday, January 11, 2021 at 9:33 AM
“To All of Edna Mae's Family, Such a life well-lived and she has left your all with so many memories to be shared and treasured. Keep them close in your hearts. You are in our thoughts and prayers. Larry and Pat ”
- Pat D Mildenstein-Rector and Larry Rector
Monday, January 11, 2021 at 9:33 AM
“Praying for comfort and peace for all of the Phillips family. I will never forget Aunt Edna and her love for her family. She loved cooking, writing letters , playing cards and making the best fried chicken. I always felt at home when we got to come and visit on the farm. We love you and will miss your sweet smile and gentle nature.”
- Ann awiesehan
Monday, January 11, 2021 at 9:33 AM
“Sincere sympathy to all your family. I will always remember Aunt “Edna Mae” to me as a person who was not afraid to speak her mind, show you her latest grand child photo, the “right way” to peel carrots, always smiling
and offering you a cup of coffee if you came for a visit. She had an amazing life- will miss her! ”
- Ronda Bumann Stingley
Monday, January 11, 2021 at 9:33 AM
“To all of the Phillips family I send my deepest sympathy. ”
- Vera Varner
Monday, January 11, 2021 at 9:33 AM
“Aunt Edna Mae was very special aunt.... so caring and generous. ”
- Roberta Bumann
Monday, January 11, 2021 at 9:33 AM
“Edna holds a special place in my heart. As a pregnant mother to be so many years ago when she was running the deli, she made sure to watch for me as I would come in green from morning sickness (or all day sickness) and she would make sure to get me some good food fast to settle my stomach down. She was just so sweet and I watched as she took care of each customer with that same care. My condolences to her entire family as she will be missed greatly.”
- Kristi Brotherson
Monday, January 11, 2021 at 9:33 AM
“Sorry for your loss our condolences to the family. Kenny & Anne Thornhill”
- Anne Thornhill
Monday, January 11, 2021 at 9:33 AM
“My deepest sympathies to your entire family at the loss of your beloved mother. I was honored to assist and contribute with her care provided by Home Choices. I also lost my mother this past year and know to well to remember the moments I made and shared with her...Continue to make the most of each day as we dont know how long any of us are gifted. Thanks again for giving me the precious opportunity to care for Edna. I'm deeply touched in a very short amount of time. Melody”
- .Melody Shepard
Saturday, January 9, 2021 at 9:50 AM
“Our prayers to all. She was a special lady and lived life to the fullest ”
- Marie & Robert Baker
Saturday, January 9, 2021 at 9:49 AM
“We are so sorry to hear of the loss of Edna Mae. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you”
- Clifford & Carole Wascher
Friday, January 8, 2021 at 7:17 PM
“My condolences for the entire family.. My thoughts and prayers are with you.”
- Carmel Berglin
Friday, January 8, 2021 at 7:17 PM
“So sorry to hear of Edna Mae's passing. She was a lovely lady who will be greatly missed. Our condolences to her entire family.”
- Rich & Sue Smith
Friday, January 8, 2021 at 7:17 PM
“Her obituary made me laugh but also tear up. She was my Godmother and always treated me a little special because of it. We're so lucky to have such a wonderful family and she played a big part of that!!!”
- Joanne Fleenor Spurgin
Friday, January 8, 2021 at 7:17 PM
“So sorry to hear about Aunt Edna! She was quite the lady. My condolences to your entire family . Love to you all, Debbie”
- Debbie Enger
Friday, January 8, 2021 at 4:39 PM
“Shari and Tom JR and the rest of the family, so sorry to hear about your mother. She was a wonderful woman. She fought a strong battle and now she can rest. Sending prayers for all.
Betty Mildenstein-Dahl”
- Betty (Mildenstein) Dahl
Friday, January 8, 2021 at 4:39 PM
“Craig and family. We are so sorry for your loss. While we didn't get to meet your mom in person, we feel like we knew her through you and all the stories you tell us about your growing up years and your HUGE family. She must have been quite a lady to raise all you great kids! And knowing she fought a good fight up until the very end. Thinking of you. ”
- Mike & Carol Fischer
Friday, January 8, 2021 at 4:13 PM
“Aunt Edna Mae will always hold a special place in my heart. My sincere condolences to the Phillips family for your loss. ”
- Mary Bumann
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