Gardening 14

Betty Dawn Phillips

October 15, 1934 ~ December 17, 2021 (age 87)


Betty Dawn Phillips, age 87, of Dowagiac, died peacefully Friday, December 17, 2021, in the comfort of her family’s presence.

Her life began October 15, 1934, in Dowagiac, Michigan, born to Irving and Marjorie Mead.  She married Bernard “Dean” Southworth December 30, 1951, and they had one son together.  After Dean’s sudden passing, she married Donald Lee Moss October 8, 1955, and they were married for nineteen years. They had a son and two daughters.  She then married Ronald E. “Squeek” Phillips in 1985, but they were together for many years.  Squeek preceded her in death September 4, 1996.

Betty was a farmer’s daughter and enjoyed gardening.  She had a large garden and took pride in caring for it.  She would often tell her children many stories of her life, but they will especially remember her telling them about working in the field when she saw the planes fly over in a V formation, indicating that the war was over in 1934.  Betty loved to sing especially in the Council on Aging, in church, and with the Sweet Adelines of South Bend.  She enjoyed tapping and square dance.  Betty was a caregiver, caring for many people.  She would give the shirt off her back to help others. She was Senior Vice in Post 1855 VFW Cass County Post in Dowagiac and American Legion Secretary in Penn Township, Cassopolis.  She was a member of Eastern Star and the Moose Lodge, as well as President of AARP, all in Dowagiac.  She was in a band at Cassopolis Council on Aging as tap dancer, as well as a Garden City Chorus – Barber Shoppers in Niles.       

Betty will be greatly missed by family and friends.  She is survived by two daughters, Dawna Kay Moss of Marced, California, Rosemary Lurene Procter of Dowagiac; two sons, Douglas Dean Southworth of Marced, California, Terrance Lee Moss of Edwardsburg; one stepson, Douglas Phillips of Dowagiac; seven grandchildren, Joshua Procter, Melissa Moss, Lisa Moss, Jonathon Southworth, Stacy Southworth, Heather Southworth, Tara Hoadley; great grandchildren, Kayden, Joshua, Abigail, Christopher, Chloe, Moryanna, Rosemarie, Amber, Samantha, Ian, Devin, Kayley, Ariana, Emmerick, Erin, Brianna, Anastasia, Kevin Jr., Unique, Dominique; three great great grandchildren and one on the way; one sister, Marcella (Harold) Peterson of Dowagiac; one brother, Dalton (Judy) Mead of Dowagiac; and a host of nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husbands, Bernard Dean Southworth, Donald Lee Moss, Ronald E. “Squeek” Phillips; one grandson, Timothy Ryan Moss; two brothers, Carroll Mead, and Herbert Mead.

Family and friends will gather for a funeral service on Monday, January 3, 2022, at 1:00 p.m. in First Christian Church, 201 Oak Street, Dowagiac.   

Betty will be laid to rest with her parents in Hamilton Cemetery, Decatur.

The family prefers contributions in memory of Betty be made to Cass County Cancer Service, Post Office Box 676, Edwardsburg, Michigan 49112.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Wagner Family Funerals Connelly Chapel, Cassopolis. Please share a memory or a message online:


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Funeral Service
January 3, 2022

1:00 PM
First Christian Church
201 Oak Street
Dowagiac, Michigan 49047

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