Originally published 4/28/2017 at 06:00a.m., updated 4/27/2017 at 04:14p.m.
On April 18, 2017, Elliott O. “Phil” Phillips Sr., SFC (Ret.), passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his loving family. He was 76. Phil was one of 10 children born to Thomas, Sr. and Juliette Phillips in Chicago, Illinois.
After extensive travels with the U.S. Army, Phil settled and resided in Gambrills, Maryland for 38 years. He was the devoted husband of 53 years to Juanita
B. Phillips (nee Beaton); and beloved father of Elliott O. Phillips, Jr. (Lillian) of North Carolina and Brian K. Phillips of California.
Phil was a proud member of the United States Army for 27 years, serving first in the Field Artillery and then in the Signal Corps. He also participated as an instructor with the Army Training Board out of Ft, Eustis, Virginia and traveled with a team out of Ft. Gordon’s Second Signal School Brigade. After retirement he turned his passion for photography into a business, “Phil’s Photos”.
In seeking to serve his community, Phil has served as President of the BWILinthicum Rotary Club, three time Commander of the American Legion (lifetime member) Post #141 in Annapolis,
and President of The Retired Enlisted Association (TREA) (lifetime member), Chesapeake Chapter 24. He was member of the West County Democratic Club.
Phil also enjoyed charity work donating both his time and talents in the area. He helped with the photography and other activities for the Annapolis Drum & Bugle Corps, The Youth Corps, the Annapolis Boys and Girls Club, the Stanton Center, The Banneker Museum, “ Take Back The Streets”, and various other organizations.
Phil served as on call photographer during the reconstruction from start to finish of the historical Bates High School in Annapolis. He freelanced for the Annapolis Times Newspaper, and photographed the yearly Dr. Martin Luther King Awards Dinner, and the Annapolis Chapter of the NAACP Awards Dinner,
After reading an article in the Stars and Stripes while vacationing in Germany, he became interested in the Global Soap Project. This was a project started by a native of Uganda living in Georgia who was bowled over by the endless array of soaps in stores in America and the fact that the hotel he was staying in actually threw the soap away each day.
For Uganda’s destitute soap is a luxury. He started a process recycling all of those precious bars of used soap from hotels to distribute to his people which in turn could have actually prevent disease. A bar of soap cost 500 Ugandan shillings (about 10 American cents) on a continent where many refugees had a dollar to live on daily. After seeing first hand what any war did to people and mostly what it did to the children, Phil became a representative of the Global Soap Project in Maryland organizing hotels to donate soap for humanitarian missions in Africa.
Phil was also once an avid member of the CARRS Beach Hand Dancing Association and until he became disabled, all it took was a few notes to get him on the dance floor.
He worked as a volunteer and photographer with the Bea Gaddy Foundation until her passing, feeding the homeless in Baltimore at Thanksgiving. Helped provide donated clothing, food, water and toys to various shelters in and around Odenton.
Services were held at Donaldson Funeral Home & Crematory in Odenton, Md. on Friday, April 28, 2017 at noon. His interment with honors at Maryland Veterans Cemetery in Brownsville.
Charitable donations may be made to:
Wounded Warrior Project P.O. Box 758517, Topeka KS, 66675 Tel: 1-877-832-6997
and to the American Legion Post 141 1707 Forest Drive, Annaplis, Md. 21401