Mrs. Zelvena Tilora Blake-Phillips, 76, returned peacefully to her Creator on Wednesday, July 14, 2021. She was born on February 17, 1945, in the parish of Westmoreland on the island of Jamaica, West Indies. Affectionately known as “Zell”, “Mama Zell”, “Grandma” and “Mother Phillips” - to know her in any of these capacities, was to absolutely love her. She not only showed love, but her entire existence was a beautiful demonstration of love. Her calling to serve was what gave her purpose…and she served faithfully. From her work with the Bureau of Child Welfare and her cases with the New York State Departments of Probation and Parole, to her calling as an ordained Pastor, Zell took seriously the assignment she was given to impact lives. The legacy she leaves is love. If you’ve ever had the direct or indirect pleasure of being touched by her warm smile, beautiful spirit or firm, yet loving reprimand - then you understand that her legacy will never die, and we all have a responsibility to ensure that. She is still a perfect representation of the saying “If service is beneath you, then leadership is beyond you”. We were all created to serve, and Zell wants us all to figure out our part.
She was preceded in death by her parents Gladys and Phillip Ellison, her siblings Alston Ellison, Carmen Gaskins, Rosetta Reid and Roslyn Farquharson and her late husband Alick Phillips. She is survived by her ex-husband and father of three of her girls, Dudley Blake, two remaining siblings Caswell Ellison and Eugennie Walton, Daughters (biological and by marriage) Patricia Gordon, Dionne Jackson, Lorraine Wright, Jacqueline Blake- Smith, and Janice Phillips, 10 grandchildren and numerous great grandchildren.
Our family is exceptionally grateful for the outpouring of love and support from everyone who knew and was touched by her beautiful spirit.
Services will be held 4 pm, Friday July 23, 2021, in the Chapel of Monaghan Funeral Home located at 7300 Creighton Pkwy Mechanicsville, VA 23111 with Bishop Bernard Lambert, Jr
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