Cover photo for Irene L. (Gresock)  Phillips's Obituary
Irene L. (Gresock)  Phillips Profile Photo
1934 Irene 2022

Irene L. (Gresock) Phillips

June 27, 1934 — December 23, 2022


Irene Louise (Gresock) Phillips, 88, our beloved mother and grandmother, died peacefully Friday, Dec. 23, 2022, at Punxsutawney Area Hospital from congestive heart failure.

Born June 27, 1934, in NuMine, she was the youngest child of Joseph and Mary (Koromaus) Gresock, with her and her family moving several years later to the Gresock family farm in Sportsburg, where she was raised. She graduated from Punxsutawney High School, Class of 1952, and after attending beauty school in Pittsburgh, worked for a short time as a hairdresser.

On Aug. 22, 1953, she married John Richard “Dick” Phillips in Ss. Cosmas & Damian Roman Catholic Church in Punxsutawney. Upon his reenlisting in the Army, Irene became a serviceman’s wife, living in Georgia, Kentucky, New Jersey, Texas and twice in Germany over the course of his military career. The family moved back to Punxsutawney permanently in 1976. Later, Irene went to work for the ATA, first as a van/bus driver and later as dispatcher.

She was a very active woman. From the late 1970s to the early 80s, Irene was adviser to the local American Field Service (AFS) chapter, once taking a group of PAHS and foreign exchange students on a trip to visit AFS chapters in Tennessee and Kentucky. She was also a member of the Punxsutawney Duplicate Bridge Club, volunteered at the Punxsutawney Hospital snack bar and, more recently, volunteered at the Bennis House. She was a member of SSCD Church and its Rosary Altar Society, and worked many church events over the years. Irene also observed the many traditions of the Byzantine Rite Catholic Church, the church in which she was baptized and raised. In addition to bridge, Irene loved to play Scrabble – family get-togethers were never complete until the Scrabble board came out. She also loved to listen to Sunday morning polkas, can and cook (her haluski was the absolute best), tend to her vegetable and flower gardens, travel, and read. But most of all, she loved to be with her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and attend family reunions and gatherings with her large extended family. Irene was endeared by many, always welcoming and ready to add another plate to the table for anyone who stopped by her house. She lived her faith through her generosity and kindness, and was devoted to our Lord Jesus Christ.

She is survived by three sons, Mark Phillips (and wife Amy) of Mechanicsburg, Patrick Phillips of Punxsutawney and Andy Phillips (and wife Chrissi) of Lewis Center, Ohio; two daughters, Laura Jesse (and husband John) of Punxsutawney and Colleen McKenzie (and husband Regis) of Treasure Lake; daughter-in-law Marianne Phillips of Punxsutawney; grandsons Roderic Phillips, John “Bubba” Jesse III, Jacob Jesse (and wife Kate), Jordan Jesse, Derek Phillips, Regis McKenzie IV, Randon Phillips, Matthew McKenzie, Riley Phillips and Mitchell Phillips; granddaughters Emily McKenzie, Abigail Phillips and Caroline Phillips; great-granddaughters Jordyn, Anna, Jade and Jenelle Irene Jesse; sisters-in-law Evelyn Gresock and Joan Phillips; and many nieces and nephews.

In addition to her husband, with whom she enjoyed 57 years of marriage until his death in 2011, she was preceded in death by son J. Richard (“Ric”) Phillips Jr.; grandson Eric Phillips; four sisters, Mary Skarbek, Margaret Larko, Elizabeth Morris and Anna Phillips; and three brothers, George, John and Joseph Gresock.

Visitation will be from 1:00 to – 7:00 PM, Tuesday, December. 27, 2022, at the McCabe Funeral Home Inc., 114 Maple Ave., Punxsutawney, PA 15767. A funeral Mass of Christian Burial will take place at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2022, at Ss. Cosmas & Damian Roman Catholic Church, 616 W. Mahoning St., Punxsutawney, PA 15767, with Msgr. Joseph Riccardo as Celebrant. Interment will take place at Adrian-Anita Roman Catholic Cemetery.

An ardent supporter of pro-life causes, Irene requested that, in lieu of flowers, memorials be made to the We Care Pregnancy Center, P.O. Box 51, Punxsutawney, PA 15767. Blessed repose and eternal memory!

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Service Schedule

Past Services

Friends will be received

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

1:00 - 7:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Funeral Mass

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Starts at 11:00 pm (Eastern time)

Ss. Cosmas and Damian Catholic Church

616 West Mahoning Street, Punxsutawney, PA 15767

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Adrian - Anita Roman Catholic Cemetery

Blocks Road, PA 15767

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