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Thomas Richard Phillips

Thomas Richard Phillips, a resident ofBrookhaven since 1949, peacefully passed away on Sunday, July 24,2011, in his home surrounded by his family. He was 90 years old.The funeral mass for Mr. Phillips will be held Wednesday, July 27,at 10 a.m. at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church.

    Visitation will be held Tuesday, July 26, from 5 until 7:30 p.m. atSt. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church with the vigil for thedeceased beginning at 7:30 p.m. Rite of Committal will be held atRiverwood Memorial Park.

    Tom was born in Memphis, Tenn., on May 12, 1921, to John and DeloraPhillips, the eighth of nine children. Tom was educated at St.Francis Xavier School and Menard Memorial High School inAlexandria, La.

    He enlisted in the Marine Corps after the invasion of Pearl Harborand served two tours in the Pacific. In 1942 he married Marion LoisEvans from Blue Island, Ill., and Dallas, Texas. After the war, Tomand Marion moved to Memphis to begin a long and successful careerin the lumber business. In 1949, Tom and his brothers, Joe, Ray andCharlie joined forces to begin Phillips-Rhyne Lumber Company wherehe was co-owner and vice president for 35 years. He served aspresident of the Southern Lumberman’s Manufacturing Association aswell as president of the Mississippi Pine ManufacturersAssociation.

    He was a devout member of St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Churchwhere he was actively involved in the laity of the church. Heserved on the parish council and the building committee, taught inthe religious education program and was a member of the Holy NameSociety. He was a charter member of the Knights of Columbus wherehe served as Grand Knight and District Deputy. His family receivedthe Family of the Year Award in 1977 from the Diocese ofJackson.

    Tom maintained an interest in sports and remained active incommunity sports programs all of his life as a player, coach,advisor and spectator. He was on the board of directors of theBrookhaven Parks and Recreation Department and was instrumental inhelping build baseball fields for the community. He was active as acoach in Little League and Dixie Boys baseball. Tom chartered Troop122 through the Boy Scouts of America.

    Tom is preceded in death by his wife of 43 years, Marion EvansPhillips. Also preceding Tom in death are eight brothers andsisters and his wife of eight years, Rita Dawkins Phillips. He issurvived by her six children.

    He is survived by his loving wife, Jean Salyer Phillips, and herchildren, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Surviving theirfather and mother Marion are James and Sylvia Phillips, JanicePhillips, Daniel and Wendy Phillips, David and Jimminette Phillips,William “Bill” and Kathy Phillips, Susan and Mark P. Smith; 17grandchildren; and 30 great-grandchildren.

    His parting advice to all who knew him was “Keep the Faith.”

    In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the St. Francis FoodPantry.