Student Graduation Dinner Dress
Maria Pia Phillips
  • 53 years old
  • Date of birth: May 14, 1957
  • Place of birth:
    Latina, Lazio Region, Italy
  • Date of passing: Apr 28, 2011
  • Place of passing:
    Upland, California, United States
She was so bright, sunny, funny and cheerful and surely touched everyone whom she met.

This memorial was created in memory of Dr. Maria Pia Phillips. Tom Phillips and the rest of the family invite you to enjoy her life story and leave your own stories and a picture or two.

Pia’s memorial service took place at 10:00 AM on Saturday, May 7th, at the Claremont United Church of Christ in Claremont, California.  Pia's service was a celebration of her life, for as she enjoyed her cousin Mauro’s celebration service, this is what she wanted.  Though she understands our sorrow, she preferred to hear our laughter.

In lieu of flowers and other gifts, memorials are invited to one of Pia’s favorite charities, the Boys and Girls Club of Pomona Valley, 1420 South Garey Avenue, Pomona, CA 91766 or online at  

Pia and Tom's families deeply appreciate your support. 



Memorial Tributes
This tribute was added by mel boynton on 29th April 2016

"We think of you every time we eat Italian food or see your picture, Pia.  Rest in Peace!"

This tribute was added by Chris Vander Veen on 28th April 2016

"They say time heals all wounds -- the wounds heal over but the memories never leave. You are in so many, many memories that your light will always be around us shining bright. Love you, Pia."

This tribute was added by Tom Phillips on 28th April 2016

"It has been 5 years since you left this world, yet you are not forgotten. Every day you are in my thoughts! Yet, today, I have thoughts of  gratitude for all that expressed their love for you at the time of your passing, some 5 years ago today! Many expressing their love for you by showing love for me. For without their love, care, and concern for me, I am not sure how I would have survived your passing! You were missed then and you are still missed today! Peace, my Love, Peace!!!"

This tribute was added by Tom Phillips on 14th May 2015

"Amore, Happy Birthday!!! You are greatly loved and missed! I added a new photo to your site! I know you are aware, but Nate named his catering company "Handsome Pig" after your beautiful nickname for me "Porco Bello" in honor of your teaching him to cook! A beautiful tribute!"

This tribute was added by Chris Vander Veen on 14th May 2015

"Happy Birthday. You will never age and you will forever remain in our hearts as you were the day you left us."

This tribute was added by mel boynton on 28th April 2015

"We miss you, Pia.  Rest in peace."

This tribute was added by Tom Phillips on 28th April 2015

"It is odd to write to you, in a semi public forum, for you know I speak to you every day in my private thoughts. Four years have now passed since your physical departure from me and everyone else that loved you here. The deep excruciating pain of you being ripped away from me is gone. There is still a sadness, but much more, there are the sweet memories of all that you were to me while alive.  Love is eternal and is not bound by time nor space. We are together and will forever remain one! I miss your physical presence, Amore, but yet at the same time I am blessed for your being in my life!"

This tribute was added by Tom Phillips on 14th May 2014

"Thank you Suzie, yes this fact that this will be the last class that knew Pia has always  weighed heavily on my heart! Yet, her impact remains in all the students, faculty, friends, and family members that her life  touched! I miss her every day!
Happy birthday Amore!!!"

This tribute was added by Suzie Kovacs on 14th May 2014

"Pia, you have been in my thoughts this week as we prepare to graduate the CVM class of 2014.  I am reminded that this is the last class that knew you as their teacher, mentor, and friend.  Be sure that your memory will remain alive and that the classes to follow will also know the special place you leave forever unfilled at WesternU."

This tribute was added by Colleen Brown on 13th May 2014

"Thinking of you Pia"

This tribute was added by Suzie Kovacs on 1st May 2014

"Hi Pia,  you are remembered fondly by so many!  MIss you so much!"

This tribute was added by Chris Vander Veen on 29th April 2014

"Dearest Pia -- time has passed but your legacy lives on! Who could ever forget your smile and the twinkle in your eyes -- especially when Tom would be around. Thank you for your gift of time shared with us at WU CVM. Tom is happy again -- and now you and his mother can compare notes and laugh together -- I know that you are entertaining her with your stories of Tom. Miss you, sunshine!"

This tribute was added by Tom Phillips on 29th April 2014

"Three years have passed since you were physically present in my life; yet the joy and love you gave me continues to be shared by me and others that you touched during your life! This is part of your legacy.

I know you know, that I now engaged to married again - during the year just prior to your death you said to me at least 3 times " Tom, if one of us must go first I want it to be me, for I could not bare to live without you, and if I die first, I want you to move on with your life and find someone new".  What a wonderful loving gift you gave me, saying these kind and caring words to me - though I did not understand the impact of their meaning at the time.

Marlena is wonderful women, who honors you and role you have in my life - it is she who organized your memorial last year and sang songs of joy to honor your life, and it is she who  helps to maintain your memory every day! I am loved and care for once again, which I know was your greatest desire for me upon your passing. The love you gave me lives on in the love I now give her. I am a better man because of you and your beautiful love - I know you had a hand in my meeting Marlena - so great is your love for me. The legacy of your love continues, through the love I show to others! The deep deep pain of your passing has greatly diminished, but your memory has not - my sweet sweet Pia, I  will always love you!!!"

This tribute was added by junia fausta klein on 28th April 2014

"Ciao Pia, cara amica mia. Ti vorrò sempre bene e ti porterò sempre nel mio cuore."

This tribute was added by Carmela Panza on 29th April 2013

"Pia, la tua luce non smettera' mai di splendere nei nostri cuori! We miss you very much!"

This tribute was added by Suzie Kovacs on 29th April 2013

"Pia, you left a hole at work that no one has (or will ever) be able to fill.  You are missed daily and you remind us that life is short and should be lived to the fullest every day - as you seemed to do.  Bless you for continuing to teach us all."

This tribute was added by Chris Vander Veen on 28th April 2013

"Still miss you and all you brought to life!"

This tribute was added by mel boynton on 28th April 2013

"We're remembering you today, Pia.  The wedding toasts, good times, and lasting friendship still add quality to our lives.  You are part of us, forever."

This tribute was added by Suzie Kovacs on 30th April 2012

"Missing you Pia!"

This tribute was added by mel boynton on 29th April 2012

"You live on in the laughter and smiles of family and friends.  We will never forget your charm, wit, and beauty!"

This tribute was added by Chris Vander Veen on 28th April 2012

"You are still missed! Whenever I see a yellow flower I think of you -- the color yellow just seems to be you! You were always so bright and smiling -- just like the bright yellow sun. Miss you."

This tribute was added by Ghida Banat on 25th May 2011

"I will miss Pia a lot. She was such a nice and cheerful person. She talked with so much passion about her family especially her son. I will never forget our long chats in the hallways and her great smile. Her memory will stay with us."

This tribute was added by junia fausta klein on 14th May 2011

"Dear Pia, forever in my heart, our teen-age years, our seventies-fashoned hair, short with a tail on the neck; our growing in high school laughing and crying together...Today is your birthday, Pia. Forever loved!"

This tribute was added by Raymond Phillips on 10th May 2011

"As a daughter-in-law Pia was very pleasant loving and
kind. My only wish is that she could been with us a much
longer time, but that was not to be. I will miss her
smiling face. Rest in peace"

This tribute was added by Deb Terra on 8th May 2011

"Pia was really someone so special and extraordinary.  I loved her smile, her style and the way she talked. What a marvelous blessing she was to all who knew her and many that did not even know her."

This tribute was added by Jennie Scudder on 7th May 2011

"Pia was an inspiration and will continue to be always!"

This tribute was added by Maisie Dawes on 7th May 2011

""Here's to Pia, a woman of passion and spirit,a lady with She truly cared for all.  My memories of her are  indelible.  Tom, thank you for the many tributes you shared with us  -of football, baseball, family... and boy could she throw a party!" Sorry"

This tribute was added by Jamie Bean on 7th May 2011

"It is hard to combine beauty and compassion, they seldom go together. Until you meet Pia Phillips and realize that once in a perfect moon, they mesh and disperse, and make everybody around feel that much better about, well, everything. Thank you for"

This tribute was added by Suzie Kovacs on 6th May 2011

"Pia made me smile and laugh - she always seemed to remind us about what really matters in life.  Work is not the same without her.  Ci mancherai caro..."

This tribute was added by Carmela Panza on 6th May 2011

"Carissima Pia, I will always remember the first time I met you...we immediately began speaking in Italian!!! I quickly realized what an amazing soul you have, your presence here on earth will be missed, but your smile will forever warm our hearts! Ba"

This tribute was added by Gini Barrett on 6th May 2011

"The first thing anyone noticed about Pia was her smile, then her exuberant embrace of life, humor, fun, all things Italian and - of course - Tom. Tom and Pia were so in love they lit up rooms."

This tribute was added by Arman Ariane on 5th May 2011

"I did not have the emotional strength to write anything the first few times I visited this beautiful website. Tom, great music, it is so Pia.  Our kids miss her very much; they used to take her delicious Pasta to school for lunch.

Pia, you will alw"

This tribute was added by Colleen Brown on 5th May 2011

"Cara Pia,
Sogni doro con gli angeli nel cielo. Com'eri bellissima e gentile. Grazie per tutto che hai datto per tutto noi. Ti ricordo per sempre. Molti molti baci."

This tribute was added by Diane McClure on 5th May 2011

"Life is beautiful.  Pia reminded us of this truth when ever we saw her."

This tribute was added by Angie Beeks on 5th May 2011

"My mentor, my friend you will be deeply missed. I am sorry we were not able to stay in contact due to WU but know you cared about me and I cared about you. I will remember our talks always."

This tribute was added by Ana Hodgson on 5th May 2011

"Dr. Pia Phillips was a ray of sunshine. She made learning fun and always greeted me with a smile. She always offered words of encouragement and really cared about her students. She cared so much that she made us the best lasanga I have ever had. She"

This tribute was added by Christina Kane on 5th May 2011

"Pia was such a ray of sunshine!!  She was among my favorite faculty members at Western U! I will miss admiring her beauty inside and out, her infectious enthusiasm for life, her welcoming smiles, her classy fun outfits, and of course her amazing food"

This tribute was added by Jennifer Stonequist on 5th May 2011

"Pia's love of life was simply contagious and truly touched me- she smiled not only with her lips, but with her laughing eyes and her very being! Whenever I passed her on campus or said hello, I was again inspired to allow myself such happiness."

This tribute was added by Cynthia Kinney on 5th May 2011

"Her smile and love for Tom lit up the world...She lived, she laughed, and she loved."

This tribute was added by Homer Henderson on 4th May 2011

"As the Minister who presided at Pia's Marriage Celebration with Tom, I had a "front row" seat for a magic moment.  The only person in the cast more radiant than Tom was Pia.  Her radiancy lives on."

This tribute was added by Kimberly Bridges on 4th May 2011

"First impressions last, I thought who is this beautiful, stylish young woman walking towards me with that warm smile. She could turn your bad day right around!  Dr. Pia Phillips will be greatly missed by her Western University family!"

This tribute was added by Erin Goodwin on 4th May 2011

"She was so vivacious- rushing around the lab wearing gorgeous dresses and heels, chatting all the while alternating between English and Italian like a whirlwind of activity.There are very few people who can bring such energy and happiness into a room"

This tribute was added by Sofia Padilla on 4th May 2011

"What a wonderful person-Pia never missed a club fundraiser, and was always so supportive of the students. I'll always remember having her as a sub for PBL for one day, and in that day she offered to make us one of her famous lasagnas.She'll be missed"

This tribute was added by Carlos Crocker on 4th May 2011

"Her cheerfulness was a therapeutic beacon to anyone having a bad day.  She is missed."

This tribute was added by Chris Vander Veen on 4th May 2011

"There are so many things I remember about Pia: her beautiful evening gowns at ATC; her constant smile; her love for Tom; her impishness -- but most of all her smile and her caring. She CARED! It is a tribute to her that she is so loved! I miss you."

Leave a Tribute:
Invite your family and friends
to visit this memorial:

Subscribe to receive e-mail notifications when others contribute to this memorial.

This memorial is administered by:

Tom Phillips


Have a suggestion for us?

We are waiting for your feedback!