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Octa Elizabeth Phillips, 100 years old, formerly of Green City, Missouri, passed away Wednesday, August 9, 2023 at Sullivan County Memorial Hospital in Milan. 

Octa came into this world on the family farm in rural Sullivan County on February 5, 1923 to Virgil and Minnie (Thompson) Ayers. 

On October 25, 1941, she married James Lee (“Chigger”) Phillips; they were married for 72 years until his passing in 2013. She was also preceded by: two sisters, Crystal (Ernest) Darr, and Gretchen Kent; and a brother, Coolidge (Tressa) Ayers. 

Octa is survived by: one Son, Robert and wife Marlene Phillips of Green City; Granddaughters, Cloe and husband Wade Billington of Salisbury, Missouri, and Jessica Phillips and fiancé Quincy Neighbors of Kirksville, Missouri; Great Grandchildren, Kaylin and Finley Billington; a brother, McKinley and wife Elinor Ayers of Kirksville; several nieces, nephews, and cousins; and all her extended family and friends she made over the last few years at Sullivan County Long Term Care. 

At the age of 17 Octa started teaching at one room schools, including Clearview and Thompson Schools. In 1958 she started teaching at Milan C-II; teaching for a total of 43 years. In 1965, she received her Master’s Degree in Education at Northeast Missouri State Teacher’s College. Octa also sold World Book Encyclopedia’s door-to-door and earned the title of Top Salesperson for the company in 1979, earning her family a trip to Hawaii. James and Octa also had a farm for many years, farming with horses, they had 470 head of sheep, 100 head of cattle, pigs, and many chickens. 

Octa was a devout member of the Green City United Presbyterian Church, the American Legion Auxiliary, the Missouri Teachers Association, and the Missouri Retired Teachers Association. 

Funeral services for Octa were held Saturday, August 12, 2023 at Ruschmeier-Smith Funeral Home in Green City with Rev. Alan Coonfield officiating. Music was provided by Doug Williams and Phyllis Jobe. Burial followed at the Green City Cemetery. 

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are suggested to the Green City Cemetery.