Happy birthday! Louisiana woman turns 107 years old!

Ms. Emily Phillips (Source: Forest Haven Nursing and Rehabilitation Center / Media Handout)

JONESBORO, La. (KNOE) - Say happy birthday to one of northeast Louisiana's oldest residents!

Ms. Emily Phillips, a native of the Ebenezer community, turned 107 years old on August 14, 2019.

She is a resident of the Forest Haven Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Jonesboro.

The nursing home sent the following information about Ms. Phillips' life:

Born on Aug. 14, 1912 to Fannie Jones Barr, a housewife, and Hardy Barr, a local farmer, Phillips graduated from Dodson High School, where she enjoyed playing basketball. Phillips married the late Shelby Phillips and had four children, Joe Phillips, Beth Beach, Margaret Labit and the late Alwyn Phillips. Phillips was a homemaker throughout their childhood. Once her children completed high school, she received a business degree from Winnfield Trade School and began working as a housemother in the Louisiana Tech University athletic dorm Caruthers Hall, where she worked for ten years until her retirement.

As part of the Baptist Women’s Missionary Union, Phillips has always been a very active church member. Having participated in the church choir and the senior choir, she is currently the oldest member of Ebenezer Baptist Church. She also played handbells in the choir and served as a Sunday school teacher. In the Ebenezer community, she has been involved with the Order of the Eastern Star and the Jackson Parish Homemakers Club.

Her daughter, Beth, says that her mother has always been good-natured and kind, living by the motto, “if you can’t say nothing nice, then don’t say nothing at all.” With a mother who lived to be 99 and a brother who lived to be 97, Phillips has continued the family tradition of a long life filled with faith and love. Her ever-growing family currently consists of seven grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.

“Ms. Phillips and her family bring a sense of love and community to Forest Haven,” said Sandra Billings, facility administrator. “We were honored to host her 107th birthday party, it was the perfect celebration of the faith, kindness and spirit Ms. Phillips brings to everyone she encounters.”