Helen M. Phillips, a homemaker and longtime Gardenville resident, died Wednesdayof a brain hemorrhage at Gilchrist Hospice Care. She was 95.
Born Helen Mary Brocki at home on South Dallas Street, Mrs. Phillips was the eldest of eight children and raised in East Baltimore.
She attended St. Patrick's parochial school until the eighth grade and then went to work picking produce at farms in Anne Arundel and Harford counties.
"She recalled when labor inspectors arrived at the farm, the foreman would blow a whistle, and all the young children would hide in the canneries," said a daughter, Elaine Lutche of Bel Air.
During the 1920s, she worked in Baltimore's garment district at Thanhouser & Weiller - a manufacturer of shirts, overalls and children's playsuits - packing clothes for shipment.
She later worked for Siegel, Rothschild & Co., a manufacturer of umbrellas, and another garment maker sewing suits for $25 a week, her daughter said.
During the 1940s and 1950s, she was employed at Etta Gowns on Eastern Avenue altering and beading wedding gowns.
She was married in 1931 to Lawrence Phillips, a dental technician who later owned the Ideal Dental Laboratory, and settled on Berger Avenue in Gardenville. He died in 1992.
Mrs. Phillips enjoyed cooking and entertaining family and friends, and was known for her fried chicken, pork chops and the homemade raisin bread and Polish sausage that she served at Christmas and Easter.
"She also enjoyed a Manhattan every day at happy hour," her daughter said.
After her husband's death, Mrs. Phillips lived independently for 15 years until moving into her daughter's Bel Air home last year.
A funeral Mass was offered Saturday at the Roman Catholic Church of the Annunciation in Rosedale.
Also surviving are another daughter, Mildred Sciascia of Rosedale; two brothers, Andrew Brocki of Jarrettsville and William Brocki of Los Angeles; a sister, Dolores Pollhammer of Perry Hall; four grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.