WESTFIELD- The Westfield City Hall staff and the community are mourning the sudden passing of City Solicitor Susan C. Phillips on Monday after she battled a brief illness.
Flags at City Hall are flying at half staff in her honor.
Mayor Donald F. Humason Jr. said that he will deeply miss Phillips’ presence in City Hall.
“She was my friend and my advisor. I was fortunate to serve as mayor with Sue Phillips as my City Solicitor. Now she is gone and her passing has left a void in City Hall that we all feel. My deepest sympathies to her family, friends, and coworkers. I will sadly miss her,” said Humason.
Former Mayor Brian P. Sullivan, who worked closely with Phillips in the city’s water situation as Mayor well as when he was on the City Council, spent much of Tuesday remembering their time working together.
“Westfield City Hall lost a true professional this morning. Sue was the matriarch to many of us who worked there for years. She was well respected in her field, a leader in the area, and a darn good municipal solicitor,” said Sullivan, “But most of all, we all lost a friend and mentor. Today was spent remembering a lot of our laughs together. She is already missed.”
Councilor Ralph J. Figy said he had much respect for Phillips.
“I will miss our discussion on ordinances and council procedures. We did not always agree but we had a mutual respect for each other’s opinion,” said Figy. “Sue was always available to answer a question with little advance warning I will miss her and our discussions As the former Chair of L&O, I found her advice indispensable and she taught me valuable lessons regarding the law. Thoughts and prayers to her family and may she Rest In Peace “
Councilor Dan Allie said he appreciated Phillips and her work for the city.
“Our thoughts and prayers for the family and friends of Sue Phillips,” said Allie. “I am grateful for her many years of service to our City and assistance on issues.”
Council President Brent B. Bean II said she would be missed.
“She was a friend,” he said. “She was someonw we, as councilors, turned to all the time. Her mind and disposition will be missed.”
Community Development Coordinator Leanne Cloutier worked closely with Phillips in her former role as assistant to Mayor Sullivan. She said Phillips welcomed her and a friendship developed.
“From day one she had a witty or interesting story to tell while waiting to see the Mayor and her laugh was contagious,” Cloutier recalled. “She was professional, loyal and an amazing lady that I am so happy to have been able to call my friend. My heart goes out to her family and to the special bond she had with those she touched.”
Hope E. Tremblay contributed to this story.