Obituary: Joanne Phillips Bates


JoAnne Phillips Bates, 79, passed away suddenly of Pulmonary Embolism on Friday, May 24, 2024.  

Her funeral officiated by Elder Don McPherson, will be held at Moss Funeral Home, 1 p.m. on Wednesday, May 29, 2024, with visitation at noon. A graveside service will immediately follow at Ryan’s Creek Baptist Church Cemetery. Pallbearers will be her grandsons. 

JoAnne was born on November 2, 1944 to Lewis Shaver and Zelda Wright Shaver in Warren, Texas.  

She met and married T.E. Phillips Jr. in 1958, moved to Cullman, Alabama and proceeded to bear him three daughters (Cindy, Candy, and Catherine), one after another, until she finally gave him the “Buddy” he had always wanted (T.E. Phillips III).Then, she threw in two additional girls for good measure (Connie and Camillia “Millie”). After her first husband died, she married Ellis Bates. 

JoAnne worked as a home health nurse, and she loved, and was loved by all her patients. After retiring, she only stayed home a couple of years, and then worked as her daughter Catherine’s legal secretary until Covid (or as she called it, “the Covic”) hit. While there, she loved, and was loved by all of Catherine’s clients. She had a knack for making friends easily and making all friends feel like her best friend. JoAnne loved her children more than anything else in the world, except for her Chihuahua mix baby girl named Cassie… and her coffee and a sweet snack… and playing casino slot machines…oh, and watching Alabama football, but not anymore because Nick Saban retired and he is so nice-looking! Some of the pearls of wisdom that JoAnne passed along to her children were: 

  • NEVER drive past a yard sale. ‘One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” 
  • If you’ve seen one beach, you’ve seen them all. 
  • The best ink pens are those you get (steal) from your doctor’s offices. 
  • Always play the penny slots – your money will last longer. 
  • Always keep all the best household cleaners and tools stocked –one day you’ll use them! 
  • When asked how much money does a person really need, answer, “As much as you can get.” 
  • Just go along to get along – we can cuss them later amongst ourselves, and 
  • You look so pretty… when you wear your makeup! 

JoAnne was preceded in death by both parents, all her siblings, her first husband and father of her children T.E. Phillips Jr; three of her children: T.E. Phillips III (Buddy); Connie Phillips Evans; and Camillia (Millie)Phillips; and her second husband Ellis Bates. She is survived by three of her children Cindy Phillips Hardy; Candy Phillips Thomas; and Catherine Phillips Carter; her beloved son-in-law, Catherine’s husband David Carter; Eleven grandchildren; two stepsons Toby Bates and Marty Bates; many nieces and nephews; and grand nieces and nephews.  

JoAnne will never be forgotten. She will be loved and missed on Earth until the last of her children and grandchildren has gone on to heaven to be with her again.  

A celebration of life visitation for Joanne will be held Wednesday, May 29, 2024, from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. at Moss Service Funeral Home, 1901 2nd AVE North West, Cullman, AL 35055, followed by a celebration of life funeral service at 1 p.m. 

Joanne will be laid to rest in Ryan’s Creek Baptist Church, 24849 County Rd 222, Bremen, Alabama 

Please visit to leave condolences for the family. Moss Service Funeral Home Directing.