South Dakota, USA
|Death: ||Mar. 15, 1960|
IN MEMORY OF MAE M. PHILLIPS
Funeral services were held at the Greens Funeral Home in Kirkland, Washington for Louie and Mae Phillips, who lost their lives in a peculiar accident.
Memorial services were also held in Garretson, South Dakota. Thirty-five relatives from Hartford, Sioux Falls, Luverne, Wentworth, Valley Springs, Sherman and Garretson were present.
The Phillips were on a ferry boat with their car, crossing from Anacortes to the island of Guemes, where they had their home, when the car plunged off the ferry and into the channel. The car sank and both were drowned. Authorities could not agree as to why the auto plunged through a cable on the boat into the water about 60 feet from shore. The ignition was off. Witnesses said the 1953 auto floated on the water about two minutes before sinking to the bottom of the 35 foot channel. A man attempted to swim to the car but the icy water prevented the attempted rescue.
He told authorities the Phillips were shouting and waving out the windows of the vehicle as it floated about 50 feet before filling with water and sinking. He said the elderly couple made no attempt to climb out of the auto, assuming that they could not swim.
Three skindivers called to the scene pulled the victims from the water within a half hour after the mishap. A doctor pronounced the couple dead immediately.
This was the first ferry fatality recorded in the area in 40 years.
Mae Cassady was born and raised in the Valley Springs, South Dakota area. Her father, George Cassady, was a pioneer railroad agent. Cassady Park in Valley Springs was named after Mae's father. Mae married Edward Schmidt, who owned the hardware store in Valley Springs. Mrs. Schmidt's husband died, and as a young widow with five small children, she became the first interior decorator in the Midwest. Later, her marriage to Louie made painting for a livelihood less strenuous and she continued with a balance between hobby and business.
A trip to Seattle to visit a daughter exposed Mae to Lake Washington, Pudget Sound, the Olympics, Cascades, and above all else, fresh air. Her take-home baggage included kelp, salt water, driftwood, shells and rocks. Another beachcomber was born and she returned to Washington for good several years later. Mrs. Phillips was a well-known art figure in the Lake Washington area and was called by a Seattle newspaper "The Grandma Moses of Kirkland". She admitted to "seeing things", and was proud of it. Her art was a source of enjoyment for her and her large family.
Louie and Mae retired from to Guemes six months before their tragic end. Mae planned to open a curio shop.
Mrs. Phillips was survived by three daughters, Mrs. Chester Pinney, Sioux Falls, Ruth Obert, Anacortes, and Mabel Hettle, Minneapolis, Minnesota, two sons, Earl and George Schmidt, Kirkland; two sisters, Luellan Buy Estelline, South Dakota, and Ruth Cady, San Gabriel, California, and 10 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren.
George W Cassady (1850 - 1913)
Anna C Cassady (1849 - 1924)
Louie Gunder Phillips (1886 - 1960)*
Alice Cassady (1871 - 1958)*
Mae M Cassady Phillips (1879 - 1960)
Sunset Hills Memorial Park
Plot: Lincoln ~ 357A ~ Space 7
Maintained by: Curt Phillips
Originally Created by: Carolyn Farnum
Record added: Jan 22, 2003
Find A Grave Memorial# 7108141