Thomson Funeral Home

669 Broadway, Winnipeg, MB


Sylvia Elaine Philipps

30 September, 19409 July, 2020

Sylvia Elaine Philipps (nee Kemila)

Sylvia passed away suddenly on Thursday, July 9, 2020 in her 80th year. Beloved mother of Lisa Philipps (Bernard) of Toronto and Carol Philipps of Winnipeg (died 2009, survived by Virginia), and caring sister of Cliff Kemila (Carole) of Brandon and Beverly Kemila-Blake (Steve) of Georgetown,ON. Grandma Sylvia to Jonah and Levi, Auntie to Owen, Sylvia, Kathy, Dale and Mark, and Great-Auntie to Daphne, Christopher, Stephanie and Kim. Her extended family, many bridge, literary and yoga friends, and others who were lucky enough to encounter her friendly manner will also sadly miss Sylvia. The family is very grateful to her caring friend Colin Hodgson who brought her to medical care when she needed it.

She is predeceased by her parents, Emil Kemila (1968) and Ella Kemila (2015), her sister Clara (1982)(Peter) and brother Elmer (2005) (Sharon), and former husband Gerald Philipps (2013).

Sylvia was raised on a small farm, near the town of Niverville in southern Manitoba. She always described her childhood fondly, as being carefree, cared for and happy, with two siblings and barn cats as early playmates and two more siblings later. As the oldest daughter, her farm and household responsibilities expanded considerably as she matured, but she displayed an impressive sense of independence and responsibility in always doing her best, and also many natural talents.

She graduated with a Bachelor of Science from the University of Manitoba and worked in Winnipeg’s renowned Rh Laboratory for many years. In later life, she changed career paths, and applied her precise verbal skills to a communications role in an engineering firm. She always made time in her busy life for volunteer work, connected with her daughters' activities and later with ESL. Sylvia was known for her voracious curiosity and thirst for knowledge. In retirement, she took every chance to expand her mind with travel, courses, book groups, and cultural experiences. Throughout her lifetime, her favourite activities were always bridge, exciting and challenging new books and the company of good friends and family (preferably over a nice meal and a few glasses of wine.)

As an expression of sympathy and in lieu of flowers, family and friends may donate to a charity of their choice, in Sylvia's memory.

Cremation has taken place and unfortunately, due to COVID-19 restrictions the family cannot announce a memorial service at this time.


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Sylvia Elaine Philipps

have a memory or condolence to add?

Eilleen Veley

July 16, 2020

My condolences on Sylvia's sudden passing . My friendship with the Kemila family goes back a few decades to Niverville, where our parents were
first friends. Many years have passed making memories bring a smile of nostalgia. I wish you all well.

eugene wiebe

July 13, 2020

Deepest sympathy Cliff, Bev & Sharon. Jud & I considered your sister (sister-in-law) Sylvia a very special friend! I'm so glad we stayed in contact over the years and got to share many happy occasions with her. We missed her this past winter out in Victoria, but spoke to her frequently to keep abreast of events in her & our lives. I'll personally miss engaging in the many debates that we both relished. All the best to you & your families as you work your way through these trying times.
Love Gene & Judith


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