Olinger Hampden Mortuary & Cemetery & Olinger Hampden Mortuary & Cemetery
8600 East Hampden Ave, Denver, CO
Phillis Ann Harris-Brooks
November 23, 1951 – February 3, 2020
Celebrating the life of Phillis Ann Harris-Brooks
Phillis was born in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania on November 23, 1951 to Ralph Harris and Irene Lankford. She attended several primary schools and graduated from Washington, D.C.’s Sacred Heart Academy in 1969. Phillis continued her education at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology in Socorro, New Mexico for a year, until her first son Michael was born. Following a short period in San Jose, California, Phillis enlisted in the United States Air Force in January 1972. After completing her training, she was assigned to Plattsburgh Air Force Base, NY, followed by an assignment to Karamursel Air Station, Turkey, where she met her future husband, Darryl Brooks. She separated honorably from the Air Force in January 1976 and relocated to Anchorage, Alaska.
In December 1978, she moved to Colorado Springs, Colorado, where she and Darryl were married on February 14, 1979. Their son Marcus was born in July 1980 and, as Darryl remained on active duty, they moved several times over the next twenty years: first to North Dakota, followed by Texas, Germany, Texas (again) and finally Denver. While in North Dakota, Phillis juggled life as a full-time mother and full-time student until she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting with Cum Laude honors. Phillis was an accountant by training, and from 1998 to 2014, she worked for the Defense Finance and Accounting Service and the Department of the Interior, from which she retired in February 2014. While working full-time, she still managed to earn a Master’s Degree from Regis University.
Phillis loved to travel and took full advantage of living in Germany to visit most of Europe, the United Kingdom, and the Holy Land. Her favorite spots to visit were Paris, Rome and the Holy Land as well as a trip to Saudi Arabia to visit her son Michael and his family. Wherever she went she impacted the lives of many, as a friend, mentor, advisor and spiritual sister in Christ. Phillis was tireless in her devotion to helping others. She helped establish a St. Vincent de Paul hotline that provides assistance in various forms to people in times of need, plus she served as Vice President of the Society. Phillis also volunteered time to the Catholic Charities school supply drive for the St. Ignatius Loyola parish. She was a member of the Cure D’Ars parish’s Ladies Auxiliary of the Knights of St. Peter Claver. Later, she became a member and Grand Lady of the Ladies Auxiliary at St. Ignatius Loyola. In addition, Phillis was an instructor for Rites of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA). She looked for opportunities to help and to assist others in their growth. In short, Phillis lived her faith.
In addition to her volunteer work with the church, Phillis also loved to craft handmade soap, she was a voracious reader plus she loved making cards and stamping.
Phillis’ father Ralph, mother Irene, brother Carl, and sister Annette all passed on before her. She is survived by husband Darryl, sons Michael and Marcus, stepmother Emma Jones, brothers Sam, Patrick, Angelo and Anthony, sisters Monica, Jean, Brenda and Sandra, grandchildren Aiden and Mikayla and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and in-laws, all of whom hold her in the highest regard and will miss her dearly.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution in her memory to a charitable organization such as the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Catholic Charites (Archdiocese of Denver), Smile Train, Denver Rescue Mission, American Red Cross. That's just a few of the organizations whose mission and work she supported.
- Rosary Service Wednesday, February 12, 2020
- Memorial Service Wednesday, February 12, 2020
- Repast Wednesday, February 12, 2020
- Committal Service Wednesday, February 12, 2020
Phillis Ann Harris-Brooks
February 14, 2020
February 14, 2020
February 12, 2020
I would like to express my deepest condolences to Darryl, Michael, Marcus and all of Ms. Phyllis's extended family...
For me, her laugh will be what I treasure most as a memory of this fine lady.
Simply stated, she was a blessing in my life...
Her light and life in Christ will forever live within the souls she had the opportunity to touch.
Fred Norman, Jr.
February 11, 2020
Darlene and Fred Norman, Jr.
The world is a little less kind!
February 10, 2020
Phillis is my big sister. I have so many fond memories of her. We would hold hands walking during our outings. I loved being with her she made me feel safe. One particular time in 1968 during the riots in Washington, DC we were walking down Rhode Island Avenue. The National Guard was out with guns drawn on what seemed like every rooftop. She knew I was afraid, and she calmly said Monica don’t look up. It’s going to be alright. I was so frightened, but she was right everything was okay, and we made it home safely.
Love you sis will miss your calls, text messages, cards, and your laughter. Thank you so much for being who you are. Thank you for listening and offering advice. Thank you the most for your love which I hold in my heart.
I am comforted because I know you are in heaven. Enjoy your stay till we meet again.
February 10, 2020
Phillis and I met when she was the tender age of five. I was happy to add her to our family. We developed a loving mother daughter relationship. It was my pleasure to care for her. At the same time, she added so much love to our lives. Always kind and willing to help with her younger siblings. Phillis took that responsibility very seriously.
Phillis always had a love for books and enjoyed regular visits to the library. Her excellent grades were a reflection of her hard work. It was her goal to do her very best.
You were a great daughter. Always caring about me. I’m greatly indebted to you for your kindness. You knew I enjoyed traveling and rewarded me by taking me abroad to Germany, Paris France, Vienna Austria, and Budapest, Hungary. I am equally grateful for the trips here in the United States.
Rest in peace and know that I love you and will miss you greatly.
February 10, 2020
In Fall 1990, I met Phillis through a friend at a Catholic Convocation in Germany.
Later that day, I shared with her that the community I was supposed to share a room with, was not welcoming to me. They did not know me and they wanted to stay with themselves.
Immediately, she said to me, « Let’s go get your stuff! » She offered me to share her room with the Ramstein Catholic community. That was the beginning of a magical friendship and a nurturing spiritual journey of Faith rooted in Jesus Christ, Mary, Mother of God and the Communion of Saints.
Her countless acts of kindness reflected the essence of her nature for our Humanity. In Fall 1992, I was diagnosed with major depression. Phillis called me from Ramstein, Germany to check on me occasionally in Clayton, N.Y. We were stationed in Fort Drum, New York and my husband was deployed to Somalia.
She is a beautiful soul, a sweet fragrance of Christ to me. She is an active listener, a Teacher. She has a way to make me feel that I belong to her family.
While visiting with me in Texas, we went to Barnes & Nobles. Phillis was telling me the stories of many books we were encountering in the aisles of the Bookstore. It was a delight.
Some of her favorite encouraging words to me whenever I shared something painful were, »No worries, it will work out, Sis, move on! »
Some of what she wrote in texts conversation on Friday were, « Yesterday best day in long time. So grateful for many graces received. Only couple incidents of discomfort while working out. No other pain throughout day. Not quite so fortunate this morning, but still blessed... »
You were an amazing and a phenomenal person, my soul sister. You are unique, special and unforgettable.
Beloved sister, it is comforting to know we will always meet in the Eucharistic prayer each time I go to Mass. I‘ll pray the Rosary with you in the Mystical Body of Christ. I will continue your legacy of respect, kindness and the Mission of Christ. Pray for us!
February 8, 2020
Another of Phil's great accomplishments was her graduation from the rigorous Denver Catholic Biblical School. Phil was a true student, and scripture grabbed her by the throat and never let her go. After her graduation she was published in journals on scripture and spirituality, reflecting on the interior lives of biblical characters and on the depths of our lives in Christ.
She was funny, and warm, and smart, and loyal. She is beloved.
February 7, 2020
Oh my....I met Phillis ONCE in person, in January of 2018. We live near Canton, Ohio and flew out to visit a dying mutual friend, Hilde Fohs . Phillis faithfully visited Hilde and Paul Fohs ( every week I believe) since their daughter, Heidi Fohs, who was a co-worker of Phillis' , passed away from cancer in 2009. We are dear friends of the Fohs family, and used to attend church with them back in the 1980's when we lived in Colorado. Phillis was a ROCK to Hilde after Heidi passed away, and Hilde often talked to me about Phillis' devotion to Heidi . Later, picking up the torch and carrying it for Hilde and Paul, Phillis helped to see to their needs, lending a comforting hand and getting Hilde out to concerts and activities.
When Hilde passed away in 2018 from cancer, Phillis was right there to the end, and then picked up the torch once again, and visited Paul weekly. Paul often told me how much her visits meant to him...their lunches out, their trips to Rocky Mountain National Park....
I hear Phillis was just visiting Paul ( age 90) the day before she died, Paul is a vibrant, active, independent elderly man who treasured her weekly visits. When he called me on Monday to tell me that she passed away, his voice was choked with emotion, and I was at a loss.
Though I only met Phillis once, I felt like I knew her. We texted and called each other several times over the last couple of years, chatting on about our mutual elderly friends. I could tell she was a very, very special person, and I know Paul Fohs will miss her visits very much ! From reading the other memorial tributes on this site, I learned a lot about her. It's obvious that she was one BELOVED child of God !!
Our deepest sympathies to Daryl and all of her extended family,,,,
Hope and Slater Raub
February 6, 2020
I met Phil in the early 90s when we moved into base housing just below Phil and D's apartment at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. Long story short is her washing machine overflowed and ran down the wall into my room just below. That was the start of one of my most endearing friendships, sharing a cup of tea during visits or via a long distance phone call.
I told Phil one time that the reason I loved her so much, was that she was the best parts of my husband and my mother. I've never met anyone else like her.
Phillis' smile, laughter, and grace will always be held close in my heart. She was truly a most remarkable woman who touched my life completely.
To D, Marc, and Michael, and Phillis' family and friends, I pray for God's mercy and love fold around you and bring you comfort and warm memories.
February 6, 2020
I first met Phillis when we were both attending the Denver Catholic Biblical School, and we shared a table. It was during this time together she called me a prophet, and I'm still trying to figure out why. I always loved Phil's insights and was touched deeply by her faith and sweet soul. During four years, we came to know one another and our group continued to meet monthly, first for lunch, and then forming a book club. I never mentioned a book to her that she hadn't read, or had at home ready to read. We became movie buddies, and tried to get together for a movie at least once a month, and we shot for every two weeks. The past six months we were not as successful, as Phil wasn't feeling well, and would frequently need to postpone.
I love Phil like a sister, and consider her one of my dearest friends. Her absence will leave a huge hole in my heart, but she left me with enough love and caring to help fill it in. I am eternally grateful that God brought her into my life for the past twenty years.
February 6, 2020
I met Phillis in an elevator when we both worked for the Department of Interior. I will never forget the beautiful smile she flashed me at my look of shock and surprise in seeing another black woman in the building in Lakewood.
Aside from her looking so much like she belonged in my family, her name was the same as one of my favorite cousins. I was so proud of Phillis as she was a Super Woman in a field where you didn’t see many blacks, male or female.
Phillis was one of the most beautiful souls I have ever known. She was my rock and I always wanted to obtain her poise and confidence. That never happened because as good as she was, that miracle never happened. She did keep me from putting one or two feet in my mouth a time or two; and I will always remember how much we laughed and cried and prayed. I am so sorry for this huge loss. May God bless you; strengthen you; and we wrap you in his comforting arms.
February 5, 2020
I met Phillis in our Divine Mercy Cenacle at Queen of Peace in April 2018. She freely shared her spiritual wisdom with me and was far more advanced than I. I firmly believe she flew the express route to Heaven! I greatly admired her as being gracious, serene, well and soft spoken and poised, gentle and kind. Losing Phillis leaves a very empty place in my heart.
Dear Lady...you now know all the answers to my questions!
February 5, 2020
I met Phillis in San Angelo, TX while working for DFAS. Phillis was a little skepticle of me at first (me being on the DFAS Tiger Team) but once we got to know each other, the respect for each other was admirable. I was so pleased to hear that Phillis and Darryl (with son Marcus) were moving to Denver. And while Phillis and I both worked for DFAS, it gave us time to see each other on a regular basis. I hope that Phillis knows how much I cherished her friendship and always will until my last day. I know I have another Angel in heaven looking out for me. You are always in my heart. Miss you bunches.
Friends Forever on Earth and in Heaven,