© 2013 Kebba Buckley Button. World Rights Reserved.
This week, Pauline Friedman Phillips left us, at age 94, after a long battle with Alzheimer’s Disease. She was better known to millions as “Dear Abby”, the legendary advice columnist. She left behind a daughter, Jeanne Phillips, who continues writing the “Dear Abby” column, 4 grandchildren, and a husband of 73 years, businessman Morton Phillips.
Born in 1918, in Sioux City, Iowa, she was the younger twin of her sister, Esther. Esther would ultimately become famous as the advice columnist, Ann Landers. Their parents were successful self-made immigrants from Russia, who left their country in 1905, due to the persecution of Jews.
Pauline Phillips was known for her constant smile, her warmth, and her sometimes cheeky sense of humor. She answered countless letters from strangers with pain and conflicts, saying, “Everyone, if he’s honest, has problems.” She was also known to say, “Most people just want someone to listen to them.” Phillips offered warm, sensible, grounded advice, without condemning the letter writer or invoking faith. She often recommended professional counseling, and she answered very sensitive letters with a personal letter. She pointed out to millions of readers that if a married man will leave his wife for you, he will later leave you for another woman. Famous for her booklet series, on practical topics such as popularity, letter-writing, and favorite recipes, she had “The Dear Abby Radio Show” for 12 years, authored a half dozen books, and was a popular guest speaker.
In 2001, Phillips got her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She was a star in the hearts of Americans. Was she also the Oprah Winfrey of her day?
In 2002, Philips’ family announced that she had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease. Her daughter began co-writing the Dear Abby column. Today, “Dear Abby” is the world’s most widely syndicated column, going out to 1400 newspapers and 110 million readers daily. The column receives over 10,000 letters and emails per week. Fortunately, Jeanne Phillips will continue writing as Abby. In her online column today, Jeanne asks readers to please say a prayer for her mother: “Ask that her spirit be surrounded by the souls of the many individuals whom she loved and who loved her. She has sat in God’s waiting room for so many years, and now may their souls be joined together. — JEANNE PHILLIPS, AKA GRIEVING IN MINNEAPOLIS”
Pauline Phillips may have passed on, but her legacy lives in the hearts of so many who read her caring advice and were moved by it. Thanks for the guidance, the love, and the memories, Abby!
● Kebba Buckley Button is a corporate stress management trainer and the author of the award-winning book, Discover The Secret Energized You (on Amazon.com >Books>Buckley), and the 2012 book, Peace Within: Your Peaceful Inner Core (on Amazon.com >Books>Button). She also has a natural healing practice and is an ordained minister.
● Your comments are welcome!
● Get these articles by email– just click the Subscribe Free option in the right column.
● Reach the writer at email@example.com .