Jane Bechtel Phillips passed away on February 12, 2023. She was born in Philadelphia, PA, in 1921, the oldest daughter of the late Theodore and Ethel Bechtel. She graduated from West Chester State Teacher’s College in 1943 and taught for 30 years in several elementary schools in Delaware, retiring from the Smyrna School District.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Walter W. Phillips, and her two younger sisters, Ethel Schmidlap and Mary B. Tittman. She is survived by her children, Allison M. Agra (Ed) and Jon T. Phillips (Alex), and her grandchildren, Laura and Eric Agra.
During her life, Jane had many interests and hobbies among them playing the piano, decorating, baking, origami, crossword puzzles, and sewing. She decorated every home she lived in with handmade curtains, and upholstery, as well as sewing clothes for the family including doll clothes, Halloween costumes, even her daughter’s wedding dress. She loved poetry, had many poems committed to memory, and wrote her own poems as well.
She was a member of several Episcopal churches in Delaware as she moved around the state where she was an active member participating in the choir, the alter guild, Sunday schools, and completing the Education for Ministry program in 2006.
Jane participated in many organizations including Delta Kappa Gamma (teachers’ sorority) and volunteered in the community in various capacities. In Millsboro, she made deliveries for Meals on Wheels and also mentored at a local elementary school for the English Language Learners’ program.
She enjoyed music, art, reading (everything, but especially mysteries and poetry), traveling to historic destinations, and learning about different cultures. She said, “Experiencing beauty in its many forms whether created from the human spirit or found in nature gives me daily pleasure.”
She provided a wonderful example for her family of a person who was a lifelong learner, creative, adventuresome, intelligent, and with a sense of humor that would often take you by surprise.
A memorial service followed by internment, will be held on Saturday, March 4, at 12:00 PM at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Millsboro, DE.