Wrangell Sentinel -

Obituary: Mary Ann Phillips, 65


February 21, 2019

Mary Ann Phillips

Mary Ann Phillips, 65 and a lifelong Wrangell resident, passed away February 5, 2019 in Zihuantanejo, Mexico while on vacation with her family.

She was born on November 18, 1953 in Bishop Rowe Hospital to Maurice and Mary Buness.  

She attended Wrangell Public Schools until her family moved to the Tacoma area in 1964. She returned to Wrangell with them in January 1970 and made her home here since. After graduating from Wrangell High School, she attended the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

She married her high school sweetheart Vern Phillips, of Wrangell, on June 16, 1972 in the First Presbyterian Church. She had to two sons, Dustin and Scott Phillips, both of Wrangell. An important part of Ann's family was Dustin's significant other Kayla, and children Hailey and Michael.

She worked for her family's insurance business, then Vern and Ann bought and worked a fish tender for a few years until the Phillips family established Sea Level Seafoods in 1985. She was a permanent fixture in the office and in June of 2018, she retired after 33 years. She enjoyed running up the Stikine River with Vern, family, music, filling the porch of her home with colorful flowers, friends, sunbathing and vacationing in Mexico.  

Taking after her mother, she was locally famous for her wonderful cooking and entertaining. For many years she organized the cuisine for the Stikine Sportsmens' Game dinner and other events; whether it was an intimate dinner party or a reception spread, her guests knew the food would be plentiful, appetizing and delicious.  She was a longtime volunteer at Elks Lodge 1595 and a member of the Friends of the Irene Ingle Public Library.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Maurice and Mary Buness of Wrangell and her brothers Steve Buness of Wrangell and Sam Buness of Valdez.  

She is survived by her husband Vern; sons Dustin and Scott; sisters Kay Jabusch and Marie Davidson, both of Wrangell; brothers Mike Buness and Scott Buness of Wrangell and Mark Buness of Juneau and many nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held at 1:00 pm, Thursday, February 21 at the Harbor Lights Church. A celebration of life gathering will follow at the Wrangell Elks Lodge.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Wrangell Public Library Summer Reading Program.


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