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Wednesday, March 31, 2021
Starts at 3:00pm (Eastern time)
“We are confident I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” II Corinthians 5:8
Richard G. Phillips, Sr., age 84, of Rockingham, passed away on Tuesday, March 23, 2021 after several years of declining health, culminating in a brief but valiant bout with cancer. Thankfully, he was able to pass away at home in the care of his loved ones, as he had wished.
The fifth of six children, he was born into the loving home of Sipp Wesley and Rosa Belle Johnson Phillips in Rockingham on Aug. 7, 1936. He often spoke fondly of his happy childhood and had many great memories of growing up with his siblings and friends as part of the “Allen Street Gang.”
Richard served his country in the US Marine Corps from 1954-1961 and in the US Navy from 1963-1967. Following his military career, he worked for a year in security at Newport News Shipyard in Newport News, VA. He later served 23 years with the Rockingham Police Department, retiring at the rank of lieutenant in 1991. During his law enforcement career, he also taught firearms and self defense courses at Richmond Community College and was a substitute teacher at Richmond Senior High School.
Following his law enforcement career, he served for seven years as security supervisor at Perdue in Rockingham. He continued to hold various part time jobs as long as he was able. He always enjoyed working and often said he would still be working if he could.
Richard was a member of Rockingham Church of Christ and especially enjoyed the mens’ fellowship breakfasts. He also greatly enjoyed his monthly class reunion dinners with his beloved Rockingham High School classmates. He was an avid golfer and a gifted wood worker.
The pride and joy of his life was his family, especially his grandsons, Zach and Ben. He spent many hours lovingly teaching them the game of golf and supporting them in all of their endeavors. Among the proudest moments of his life was seeing them become US Marines on Parris Island, as he had done many years before.
Richard was preceded in death by his parents, S.W. and Rosa Belle J. Phillips, his sister, Dorothy P. Williams, brothers, Carl Phillips and Paul Phillips, and a niece, Susan Williams.
Left to cherish his memory are his devoted wife of 57 years, Minnie Ellen Morse Phillips, of the home; daughter, Teresa Phillips, of Aberdeen, NC; son, Rick Phillips, of Concord, NC; grandsons, Sgt. Zachary Phillips and LCPL Benjamin Phillips, both of CA; brothers, Harold (Sylvia) Phillips of Madison, CT and Jim (Lovell) Phillips of Leland, NC; sister-in-law, Evonne Phillips of Leland, NC; five nieces, five nephews, and numerous other family members and friends.
Richard instilled in his children and grandchildren a strong work ethic, love of family, and service to our fellow man. He will be forever loved and remembered for this and for so much more.
The body will lie in state on Tues., March 30, from 2:00-5:00 P.M. at Carter Funeral Home in Rockingham, at which time friends may pay their respects. Due to Covid restrictions, the family will not be present at this time, but are receiving friends at home. Graveside services will be conducted at Richmond County Memorial Park Cemetery in Rockingham on Wed., March 31 at 3:00 P.M. with Wesley Williams and Dathan Bodie officiating. Face coverings are requested and please observe social distancing. Attendees are welcome to bring lawn chairs.
Memorials may be made to Rockingham Church of Christ, P.O. Box 95, Rockingham, NC 28380, or to Richmond County Hospice, Inc., 1119 N. US Highway 1, Rockingham, NC 28379.
The family would like to thank Lori Jenkins, LaTania Williams, Mary Martha Warnock, Natalie Barbour, and Susan McDonald of Richmond County Hospice for their expert and compassionate care.