Arlene Phillips, formerly of Stoneham, MA, passed away after a long illness on Monday, October 31, 2022. Arlene was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She was the daughter of George Garland and Regina Scinicariello and step-daughter of Dan Scinicariello. She grew up in Somerville and was a graduate of Somerville High School.
She married and settled in Burlington and raised three wonderful daughters. Arlene was a strong and independent woman - there wasn’t much she couldn’t do. She was a proud member of her community and church and loved to lend a helping hand. She made curtains for a local prison and designed and made costumes for the Burlington Players theater company. She was a member of the Mishawum Choral Society and loved the connections with her fellow singers, the fun rehearsals, and performing for the public.
As a young talented seamstress, Arlene started her career working at the House of Bianchi, which was one of the most prominent bridal and formal wear design houses in the country. She opened her own business in Burlington called Shades of Sophistication, in which she made custom curtains and draperies and did interior design work to help her customers, friends and family create the homes of their dreams. She was regularly invited to participate in the Decorators Show House in the Boston area, where she was tasked with designing rooms in one of the large historic homes.
Her family described her as a jack of all trades, as well as a gourmet cook. She loved to use her mother’s recipes from Gaeta, Italy. Her chicken cacciatore and lasagna were family favorites. Her greatest joy was being a mother and teaching her girls to cook, be independent, but most of all to be kind and compassionate. She welcomed other single mothers and their families to live with her family until they could get on their feet. Her daughters’ friends knew there was always a seat at her table and a bed to sleep. Arlene will be lovingly remembered for her independence and determination, her wonderful sense of humor and unconditional love that she shared with everyone who entered her life. Mostly she will be remembered for her amazing, sometimes wild sense of fashion, in which she often wore her own designs.
Arlene was the loving mother of Debra Bladh of Clearwater, FL & her late husband James, the late Alan Phillips of Brighton, Renee DeAntonis & her husband David of Burlington and Stephanie Cioffi & her husband Michael of Everett. She was the sister of the late Irma Bianchi & her late husband Ralph. She was the proud grandmother of Heather Tyson, Nicole, Ginelle, and Derek DeAntonis and his fiancé Jackie Roth and great grandmother of Aurora, Layla, and Henley Tyson. She also leaves her cousins Jean Phillips and the late Bob Miele of Maine and her many nieces and nephews who she loved greatly. She was also survived by many wonderful friends and neighbors.
At Arlene’s request, her funeral services will be private.
Memorials in her name may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, www.alz.org, 309 Waverley Oaks Rd, Waltham, MA 02452.
Arrangements by the Edward V. Sullivan Funeral Home, Burlington.