In Memoriam: Katie Phillips
November 1, 2019
The Bixby Knolls Business Improvement Association mourns the recent passing of Katie Phillips who was the project manager for the BKBIA for nearly two years. Katie lost her battle with cancer earlier this month.
I first knew her as “Katie from Squeeze” when she ran the arts collective. Later she was commissioned by the BKBIA for art projects. We were casual acquaintances at best. Two years ago, she came to work for the BKBIA and I got to know “The Mighty Katie Phillips.” A genius graphic designer and artist who took creativity to the next level. I would often say: “Katie, I need a this or a that” and 15 minutes later she’d have a perfect concept. Or I’d say: “Give a ‘Katie Phillips’ to it” and the project would be smart, funny and right on point.
On top of her work as a graphic designer, she was also a talented fine artist. In 2016, she painted a mural in north Long Beach for Councilmember Rex Richardson’s Creative Corridor Challenge, turning an often-tagged wall into a point of pride for the neighborhood, as well as other murals and artwork. She also cared deeply for the environment and often encouraged others to buy reusable items and refrain from using harmful chemicals in their gardens. A recipient of the Green Artist of the Year award, Mayor Robert Garcia said her work was integral to promoting environmental health and sustainability in Long Beach. (Source: Long Beach Post)
Katie filled our office with positivity. She played music and sang all day long. Every day. We played “Name That Tune” and had “Favorite Song Battles.” We spent a lot of time talking about life, music, travel, work. I liked making her laugh because she would turn around as if to share the laugh with an imaginary audience.
I love this particular photo of Katie taking the time on a busy First Friday to teach my daughter Marley how to draw. Katie gave Marley lots of art lessons and would spend time in the office getting silly with her. It was tough having to tell Marley that Katie is no longer with us.
She is survived by her husband David Hedden, sisters Margaret, Becky, and Dana, and father Bruce Phillips.
The Cohn family, the BKBIA, and the many people Katie touched are heartbroken at her passing. Our deepest love and sympathy to David Hedden and the family.
To you, mighty Katie, you are loved by so many and will be missed terribly.
Carpe Diem, everyone.