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Harriet Phillips, 86

EGREMONT, Mass. — Harriet Phillips, 86, of North Egremont died Wednesday, May 16, 2012.

Born on Aug. 4, 1926, in Brooklyn, N.Y., she moved to North Egremont many years ago and became an avid gardener and gourmet chef. She graduated from Smith College in 1992, earning her bachelor's degree in sociology at age 65.

Ms. Phillips' life was framed by fruitful dedication to social justice: workers' rights in the '40s, anti-racism in the '50s and '60s, peace and women's rights in the '70s. She had an abiding concern with class issues and local and global conditions for the poor, especially mothers, said family. Her early civil rights activism included protest of a segregated swimming facility in Egremont in 1964 and culminated in the election of President Barack Obama, for whom she mobilized her walker and set to work. Just before her death, she was re-elected to the Egremont Democratic Committee.

She was a loving mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, aunt, and caring friend. Her friends speak of her welcoming generosity, her determined and indomitable spirit, and her fabulous cooking. She will be sorely missed.

She leaves four daughters, Menoukha, Claudia, Ditte and Raya; her sister, Helen; five grandchildren Sara, Mara, Ian, Jacob and Isaac; four great-grandchildren, Dahlia, Forest, Matan and Eber, nieces and nephews Joan, Richard, Paul, Barbara, Ruth and Miriam, and her service dog, Pluto.

Her son, Eugene Phillips, died in 2004.

FUNERAL NOTICE — Donations may be sent in Ms. Phillips name to NEADS (National Education for Assistance Dog Services) or Rosenberg Fund for Children. To participate in a memorial service next year, please email

Recollections & Sympathy For the Family
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I would like to have met her. She seems to have been a remarkable, committed woman. Jim S.
from: Jim Savitton: 06-08-2012

Although I didn't know her, I see her footsteps through her daughter, Menoukha, whom I admire.
from: Julie Shawon: 05-30-2012

I wish I would've known her - based on my conversation with Menoukha. Such a great loss!
from: Val Chukhlominon: 05-30-2012

She must have been a wonderful person because she has a wonderful daughter Menoukha.
from: Joyce McKnighton: 05-30-2012 Text Ads

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