Ellen Haygood Phillips, a retired English teacher who wrote the Consumer Watch column for the Times Free Press, died Friday due to COVID-19. She was 73.
Phillips wrote two consumer-oriented books — "Shocked, Appalled, and Dismayed!: How to Write Letters of Complaint That Get Results" in 1999 and "Fight Back and Win!" in 2002. Her Consumer Watch column appeared every week in the Times Free Press for more than a decade.
"She was a tireless and persistent advocate for consumers and a watchdog against scams and ripoffs," said Dave Flessner, business editor for the Times Free Press. "She will be sorely missed."
A native of Greenville, Alabama, Phillips received a bachelor of science degree from Troy University, a Masters's degree from Auburn University, and a post-Masters degree from the University of Virginia. After teaching a decade in Alabama, she then taught English, speech and theatre arts and, subsequently, retired from the school system in Fairfax County, Virginia. Phillips was honored as Fairfax County Outstanding Educator; finalist and Virginia Speech Teacher of the Year and was included in Who's Who in American Education, Who's Who of America, and the esteemed Marquis Who's Who Publications Board's Commendation.
A consumer advocate who advised individuals, organizations, and businesses across the country, Phillips was featured on national television, radio, and in national newspapers and magazines.
Following retirement, Phillips and husband Bruce moved to Ooltewah and she was active in the Ringgold United Methodist Church, several bridge groups, the Scenic City Chorale, and held various offices within the Chattanooga Newcomers Club. Phillips' activities and hobbies included bridge, writing, reading, and making happy memories with family and friends.
She is survived by her husband of 39 years, Bruce Harrison Phillips; daughter, Katherine Elizabeth (Stewart) Cook; grandchildren, Ellen Elizabeth (Ellie) Jeffries, Cody and Tallon Runkles, twins Kai and Jaydon Cook; sister and second "bestie", Nan Haygood; and sister-in-law, Jean Haygood.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be offered to The Autism Society, or to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
Memorial services will be held at the Ringgold United Methodist Church at a date to be announced, with the Rev. Chris Bryant and Gary Knowles officiating.
Arrangements are by Heritage Funeral Home, 7454 E. Brainerd Road.
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