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Devi (Cynthia) Phillips

September 20, 1964 April 7, 2022
Devi (Cynthia) Phillips
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Obituary for Devi (Cynthia) Phillips

Cynthia Devi Phillips of Winter Springs, Florida, passed away in the early hours of April 7, 2022, after a brave battle with cancer. She passed peacefully, in her favorite place, surrounded by her loving family.
Devi was born on September 20th, 1964, to Walter Trench and Nancy Caldwell in Spring Valley, New York. For the next 57 years, Devi brought sunshine to the lives of everyone who knew her.
Devi met her husband, Bart Phillips, by chance through a wayward phone call when she was 16 years old and they fell in love where they lived, in Park Ridge, New Jersey. They spent the first years of their courtship surrounded by friends and family, making memories.
Bart and Devi worked together to build their life in Orlando, Florida after moving in 1984. They were the definition of partnership, each taking lead in the areas that were their strengths, making decisions together about the big things, and working hard to create a life they could be proud of.
With their best childhood friends by their side, Devi and Bart got married in the second week of September in 1988. Devi’s Bridesmaids wore pink, and Devi was forced to finish the evening with only one shoe, after a supposed “waiter” stole it. It wasn’t until after the honeymoon they learned their friend had played a long-game prank when it was returned.
In 1995, they welcomed their first daughter, Elizabeth. A spitfire from birth, always pushing to grow up faster, Elizabeth gave Devi the role of a lifetime, and one she treasured more than anything: the role of mother.
That title was earned two-fold when they welcomed their son, William, a year later with a room of soft blues and Winnie the Pooh wallpaper. Amanda came last in 1998 with dark hair and Devi’s eyes, and their family was complete.
"Three under three" or “Three, two, and new” is what Devi would say as she juggled strollers and car seats at the airport, traveling to see loved ones in New York or New Jersey.
Devi worked for US Airways from 1985 to 2003, while Bart grew the business, and the children were young. Her position gave her the flexibility to travel and stay connected to loved ones. She remained close to her US Airways/Piedmont family even after she left to homeschool her children full-time.
When the kids got older, Devi could be caught doing a headcount to herself. One, two, three—all children accounted for. At the grocery store, at Disney, at church. The headcount grew when Devi opened her home to countless others. Sometimes she’d count to three, other times to five or more. Her heart and home were open to friends, family, and finally, after becoming involved in the Rotary in 2010, her Rotary children.
Over the years, Devi became a mom to children all over the world. From Argentina to Taiwan, Finland to Thailand, Devi did her best to make every child feel welcome whether they were with her or placed with other families when she acted as District Chair for the Rotary Youth Exchange.
Devi was always available to talk, whether it was a crisis or simply to pass the time on a drive home. She loved to take reading breaks with a bowl of chips and dip and a cold beer. She loved purple, Josh Groban, and blurry phone photos of New England in the fall. She read a book a day, took pictures everywhere she went, and always had a trip on the horizon penciled in on the calendar. She was never subtle about pushing others to visit her too. She loved so many things, but she loved her family and friends best, and she was never shy about it.
There aren’t words beautiful enough to encapsulate all of what Devi’s life meant. She loved so many things and found value in every single person. Devi had the rare ability to make people feel seen.
She did easily what so many struggle to do—she connected people. Making others feel important was her superpower. To say she will be missed by all who were lucky enough to have known her doesn’t begin to cover it. We’ve lost our superhero, our sunshine, and we will love her always.
In lieu of flowers, we ask that a donation be made in Devi's honor to Sloan Kettering Cancer Center who helped her fight and treated her with kindness during her hardest days. Or to the Rotary International, who helped her find family and community in every corner of the world.
Please see the memorial site for details on the memorial service and donations.

To plant a tree in memory of Devi (Cynthia) Phillips, visit the Tribute Store.

Previous Events

Celebration Of Life




11:00 AM 4/23/2022 11:00:00 AM
Phillip's Residence

212 Morton Lane
Winter Springs, FL 32708

Phillip's Residence
212 Morton Lane Winter Springs 32708 FL
United States

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