Beatrice “Beach” Phillipps Bennett died peacefully in her sleep on Wednesday, Sept. 17,at her home in Chilmark. She was surrounded by family and friends, including her husband Bill and daughter Bella.
Beach cast a wide net in her 50 years of living, nurturing deep, lifelong friendships with people of all ages and from all walks of life. She focused her talent and energy on doing what she loved: teaching the art of equestrianship at the farm she and Bill built in Chilmark, and traveling the world with her family and close friends. Above all, her family mattered most. Bella and Bill were closest to her heart.
In one of her last conversations with Bill she remarked, “Though my life was short, I got everything I wanted.”
Beach will be remembered as a kind and caring mentor to the many young people who trained and worked at Netherfield Farm over the years. She was a gifted teacher, and the positive impact she had on the people she taught always extended far beyond the horse ring. Beach was treasured among her friends as a confidante and source of wisdom on matters both practical and spiritual.
Beach was born Feb. 4, 1964, in New York City to Gay Nelson (née Moore) and Peter H.G. Phillipps III, who predeceased her. She moved with her family to the Vineyard in 1972 and graduated from Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School in 1982 and from Sarah Lawrence College in 1987.
She is survived by her mother Gay and stepfather Art Nelson, her stepmother Jeanette Phillipps, her husband Bill, her daughter Bella, and her four siblings, Loch Phillipps, Christy Phillipps, Ben Phillipps, and Olivia Nelson. Beach was a beloved aunt to her eight nieces and nephews, Cole, Job, Max, Circe, Caroline, Eero, Lilly, and Mira. She will be greatly missed by all.
A service will be held for Beach at the Agricultural Hall in West Tisbury at 2 pm, Sunday, Sept. 28. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Beach’s life. Bill and Bella encourage all to bring written thoughts, memories, and pictures to share and add to a book. Please feel free to bring a dessert. In lieu of flowers, the family plans to establish a scholarship.