Vesta Charlene Spencer Phillips Bollinger “AKA Strawberry” passed February 16, 2022 at home. Charlene was born April 22, 1932, the daughter Charles Dewey and Obie Spencer of Jasper, Arkansas. Charlene was a graduate of Jasper High School. Following her graduation from Jasper she attended The University of Arkansas where she earned a Bachelor of Science, was a member of the Girls 4-H Club and a member of the University of Arkansas Girls’ Choir. After graduating from the University of Arkansas she moved to Denver, Colorado where she taught in the Denver Public Schools for 8 years and served as Secretary of the Denver Classroom Teachers Association. Charlene later earned a Master of Education from Arkansas Tech University.
In 1963 Charlene married the love of her life R.T. Phillips in Castlerock Colorado. Charlene’s greatest treasure are their 4 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren. After moving to Jasper in 1964 Charlene began a 31 year teaching career in the Jasper Public Schools where she taught grades 1 and 4 as well as Music, Spanish and Computer Sciences. Charlene was one of the founding members of the Jasper Education Association and served as the Founding President. While teaching in the Jasper Public School System Charlene touched many lives and she truly loved and cared about each child and strived for a better education system, schools and community. Charlene was a member of the United Methodist Church where she loved the fellowship and choir and wrote (hand written) A History of the Jasper United Methodist Church in 1992 for future generations to enjoy.
Charlene was generous to a fault and sometimes taken advantage of. After R.T.’s death in 1969 and raising her children alone, Charlene generously helped her elderly mother and father, helped provide for her displaced niece and nephews, provided all dental work for a neglected child that required caps on all of the child’s baby teeth, donated groceries to those in need, was involved in youth programs and many other activities to help others and the ones she loved.
After retirement Charlene spent her time traveling, living in Montana, Idaho and Arizona. Her most favorite thing to do was spend time with her treasures, her 4 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren. ‘Strawberry’ passed her love of reading and need for knowledge to the children. All have fond memories of going to Barnes & Nobel and choosing books. Charlene loved all of life, travel, learning, meeting new people, art, museums and anything life had to offer.
Charlene is proceeded in death by the love of her life and husband R.T. Phillips Sr., her parents Dewey and Obie Spencer, 2 brothers Kenneth Spencer, and Duane Spencer, 2 sisters, Iris Fern Spencer Villines and Nora Jean Spencer Henderson and her second husband William T Bollinger, 3 step-sons R.T Phillips Jr, Jim Phillips, and Perry ‘Mack” Phillips, 1 step-daughter Florita Phillips
Charlene is survived by her 2 daughters Angela Phillips Wray of San Tan Valley, AZ and Annette Phillips Johnson of Bull Shoals Arkansas, 2 grandsons Chance Wray and Matt Wray of San Tan Valley, AZ, 2 granddaughters Jeorgena Wells of Key West, FL and Jaime Falconburg of Bull Shoals, AR. 7 great grandchildren, Joey, Maddison, Max, Colton, Wyatt, R.J. and Mason. Step-grandchildren Paul “Tal” Phillips, Jim ‘Bo’ Phillips, Randy Phillips, Amanda Phillips Lorea, Lisa Phillips, Sherrie Phillips, Stacey Phillips Hutson & Dedri Wendt Jusdean Johnson, Jimmy Johnson who all loved her very dearly along with many other dear relatives and friends.
Pallbearers are Chance Wray, Matthew Wray, Jeorgena Wells and Jaime Falconburg. Honorary Pallbearers are Joey Wray, Colton Wray, Wyatt Wray, R.J. Wallace and Mason Wray
A family viewing will be held at San Tan Mountain View Funeral Home in Queen Creek, AZ. A celebration of Charlene’s extraordinarily beautiful life of love, encouragement, music and laughter will be held Friday May 13, 2022 at 11:00 a.m. at the Jasper Cemetery in Jasper, Arkansas.