Cover photo for Bunn "B.T." Tate Phillips, Jr.'s Obituary
Bunn "B.T." Tate Phillips, Jr. Profile Photo

Bunn "B.T." Tate Phillips, Jr.

August 19, 1924 — October 14, 2020

Bunn "B.T." Tate Phillips, Jr.

Bunn Tate Phillips Junior, a credit to his family, home town and country was born on 8/19/1924 at home in Siler City NC to Bunn Tate Phillips Sr and Maude Hudson Phillips, the youngest of six children. He grew up and lived in Siler, until moving to Baltimore for a short time after high school, working in a factory building military planes. He was drafted in 1942 at 18 years old. His Active Service: A veteran of WW11 (European Theatre). During training he qualified as “Expert” with M1 rifle, scoring 205 out of possible 210, 2nd best in his regiment. He joined thousands of other young Americans in Europe, landing on Omaha Beach July 4, 1944, quickly assigned to the 28th infantry division, as a replacement, 5 days after the division was committed to battle & was assigned to a rifle squad. He was awarded the Combat Infantry Badge, was twice wounded in action and credited with participation in all five campaigns in the European theater. As a foot soldier he walked from Normandy to Germany, and fought through France, Luxembourg, and into Germany, including fighting the “Battle of the Bulge”. He stayed on line till the Germans surrendered in 1945. He was one of only four original members of his company to return to his Country after WW11 ended. From a private in Normandy to a Staff Sargent when it was over, he served the - 28th Division, the 109th Infantry part of Patton’s command honorably. Commendations: Combat Infantry Badge, Bronze Star, 2 Purple Hearts, and a Citation-Normandy Campaign (given by France) Home again: He saw fell in love with and married in 1948 – the beautiful dairy farmer’s daughter, Virginia Dare Lindley who he loved deeply for 54 years (deceased 2002). We know she was waiting for him when he left Rockingham for the last time, early on October 14th 2020, & can imagine that his beloved grandson USMC Aviator, Captain Samuel Phillips was also waiting for that great arrival too. We love & miss you Sam. Virginia and B.T. had 3 Sons: Stephen Lindley, Michael Tate (wife: Phyllis) & Bunn Tate lll. Then came grandchildren: Cara Benfield (Marty), Suzanne Phillips, Mark Phillips, Angela Pickersgill (Eric) and Samuel Phillips, followed by great grandchildren: Virginia Benfield, Corbin Pickersgill, Tessa Pickersgill, Angelo Benfield & Tina Benfield, and he was so proud of them all, but there were others, nephews, nieces, and their children, and he loved them too. He had a heart for all his Clark, Stone & Lindley family members, their children and grands. He held many of his Rockingham neighbors as extended family, always ready with a hello or a story for them, he just never met a stranger. Career: 41 years in finance/banking in NC, and a lifetime of making friends and helping people. Organizations: A 70+ year member of The Masonic Lodge: serving almost every position one could hold in that esteemed fraternal organization. He was an honorary member of lodges all over the state and was even honored similarly in other states as well. He served as Grand Master of Masons of the State of North Carolina 1990 capping decades of work and fun, and has a window of honor named for him in the George Washington Masonic Memorial in Washington DC. During that special 1990, he raised interest and awareness and finances in and for the Oxford Orphanage in Oxford, NC, which held a special place in his heart. He was also a member of the Scottish Rite, and the Shrine and was presented an honorary 33rd degree. All in all, he was a Mason’s Mason, but maybe the honor that brought him the biggest smile was learning that he had been made an honorary member of the NC Highway Patrol degree team. Men he deeply respected, had included him in their ranks...what a huge surprised smile, when he learned of that, but then he respected the Patrol so much, even riding with one back in the late 40s while his friend was going after a bad guy....70 years ago....It was a different time wasn’t it? A civilian volunteering for duty with the patrol, but that was Dad! He was a humble man of Strong faith and had a love for Jesus and His sacrifice for mankind, a great love of & pride in his family, and an abiding sacrificial love for his beloved USA. Funeral services for B.T. will be held Saturday October 31, 2020. The first service will be at 11:00 am outside at First Baptist Church in Rockingham with Masonic Rites by the Rockingham Masonic Lodge, 495 A.F. & A. M.. The graveside service, with Military Honors will be at 3:00 pm at Loves Creek Baptist Church Cemetery, 174 E. 11th St., Siler City, NC. In keeping with COVID-19 restrictions, face coverings are required and please remember social distancing. Feel free to bring a lawn chair for the service. Memorials may be made to a place very dear to B.T’s heart, The Masonic Home for Children at Oxford, 600 College St., Oxford, NC 27565 or online at https://my.simplegive.com/App/Giving/mhco Several thoughts from him to end this: the first one in response to a WW2 question: 1. “ I was no hero, but I served with many” 2. “When you walk through that dark valley, you walk it alone, no one can go with you, but with Jesus living inside you, he goes too, and you aren’t alone. He will join you today if you ask him in.” (John 3:16 covers....the whole Bible’s message in one verse) 3. “Be a good boy”. .....and then he’d laugh! (Always with a smile for us and his grandchildren whom he loved so much) 4. “Fraternally, there is no high honor than to be a Blue Lodge Mason” Dad was a NC gentleman, a giant in deeds, and a man whose unquestionable honor and devotion to our Lord preceded his entrance into eternity, but he would never brag about himself the way we just did....so, sorry Dad, but we get the last word....you know the phrase, “they broke the mold when he was made”, well regarding BT Phillips, that was true.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Bunn "B.T." Tate Phillips, Jr., please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Funeral Service

Saturday, October 31, 2020

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

First Baptist Church of Rockingham

201 North Randolph Street, Rockingham, NC 28379

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Graveside Service

Saturday, October 31, 2020

Starts at 3:00 pm (Eastern time)

Loves Creek Baptist Church Cemetery

1745 East 11th Street, Siler City, NC 27344

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Guestbook

Visits: 36

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree