Gorsline Runciman Funeral Homes

205 East Middle Street, Williamston, MI


Phillis Leora Chirico

7 January, 192621 March, 2020

Phillis Leora Chirico, 94, of Williamston, Michigan passed in her home on March 20, 2020. Born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania in 1926, Phillis was a talented singer and performed with a female trio during WW2 for and in support of the armed forces. She subsequently graduated from Carnegie Mellon University majoring in speech and theater. Phillis raised her family in Naperville, Illinois, where she spent most of her adult life. She was a successful and respected Realtor in Dupage County and one of the first female managing brokers in metro Chicago. She was active in community choirs, and in the early days of Naperville’s Summer Place community theater. In retirement she was active with the Williamston Park District having served many years on the Parks and Recreation Committee. She was a founding member of Williamston’s ArtFest on the River and a lifelong member of Williamston Red Cedar Garden Club. Her interests included gardening, doll making, knitting, reading, and she was also quite a collector. Phillis was always positive and she cheerfully embraced life. She had a smile for everyone and all were welcome in her home and into her world. One of her favorite phrases was “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all”. She will be remembered for her unbridled joy, quick wit and laughter, intelligence, thoughtfulness, concern for others, and for her love of her large and extended family. Phillis is preceded in death by her beloved parents Bruce Albert Petrikin and Ruth Leora Longdon; sisters Betty Walborn and Berniece Deitz; first husband Anthony Nicholas Chirico; and second husband William Joseph Diedrich; and her step son David Diedrich. She is survived by seven children: Tony, Jeff, Randy, Doug, Gwen (Brandon), Steve, Anella (Gentilozzi); two step children, Brian and Debbie Diedrich; 18 grandchildren; and 3 great grandchildren. A celebration of life/memorial service will be held later in the year. Donations may be made in her memory to Williamston Red Cedar Garden Club (WRCGC) P.O. Box 413 Williamston, MI 48895.


  • Memorial services will be held at a later date


Phillis Leora Chirico

have a memory or condolence to add?

Randy Bell

April 7, 2020

Jeff: Please accept my condolences for your mother's passing. She certainly was an accomplished woman. I hope you and Phillip are are able to find peace and comfort in this time.

Take care.

Randy Bell
Frankfort, MI

Laura Brandon

March 27, 2020

One of my favorite memories with Nana was Christmas ten or so years ago. Us Brandon kids were gathered in our family room, waiting to open presents. Nana asked if we all would like to play a game. She explained the origins of this game: In college she and a group of friends would sit in a circle. They would take turns going around the circle, pretending to take a bite out of each person's arm, guessing what that person would taste like, and agreeing on the imagined taste of each person. Us kids, wide-eyed and giggly, were very excited to play this game. Nana skipped the pretend bites, but told us each what she thought we would taste like. This was very amusing. My sister, Anella, was chocolate (or something sweet & powerful, maybe coconut? I can't recall exactly). Jenna & Elizabeth were green & red grapes. Jacob was bread pudding (doesn't ask me why). And I was a warm bread roll. Not just any bread roll, a warm one. We all laughed. I'm not sure what was funnier, the assignments of food based on personality. Or the image of Nana sitting with her friends, pretending to take bites out of each other. I'll always cherish that memory.

Lois Howell/Seidelman

March 25, 2020

I was fortunate enough to be able to babysit Phillis' two youngest, Steve and Nella. I adopted all of the "Magnificent Seven" Life with Phillis and the kids was a great experience. Her ability to laugh at the many antics and adventures brought to her from so many different directions was an inspiration for all. A light has gone out in my world. I'm sure many lives are less because of her passing, but many are much richer for having known this sweet lady.

Nancy Nix

March 25, 2020

I did not know Phillis well or for very long, but I was instantly struck by her smile, spark and constant twinkle in her eye. For a 94 year old woman she exuded life and was always looking for a new adventure. Eternal rest grant unto Phillis O’Lord and may perpetual light shine upon her... God’s peace and comfort to her family.

Mary jane Pasko

March 24, 2020

She was a beautiful and talented women with a great spirit. I loved hearing the stories when she would give her grandchildren socks for Christmas. Socks I think she made? The world is a little less beautiful since she has left it!

Gwen Chirico-Brandon

March 24, 2020

Whenever my Mom was at a party or event the first thing she asked was "where's the cake"!
No one enjoyed cake as much as she did!

I hope they serve cake in heaven.

I will keep her heart in my heart.


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