Deacon Wilmer Phillips, the eldest of ten children born to the late Deacon Illinois L. “Buddy” Phillips, Sr. and the late Sister Mary Ethel (Lewis) Phillips, was born on September 22, 1929 in Bainbridge, GA. He attended the public schools of Decatur County, GA. At an early age, he confessed Christ as his Lord and Savior and attended Emanuel Missionary Baptist Church where he faithfully served as a deacon, usher and choir member. He also served the Lord by singing quartet for more than 50 years with the Golden Echoes. If nothing else was evident about his life, he loved the Lord and he lived like it. As a young child, he was taught the value of hard work by his parents and beloved grandfather, Henry William Eugene Phillips. He spent many years working on the Willis and Stephens farms and later retired from Engelhard ChemicalCompany. On February 12, 1950 Deacon Phillips was united in holy matrimony to the late Mrs. Lether Mae (Harris) Phillips. To this union, five children were born. The eldest passed just five days after birth. Four children flourished into adulthood: Hilton Levon Phillips, Sr. (1952-2009), Shirley Diane Campbell (1953-2017), Artis Lee Phillips, Sr., and Winnie Joyce Saunders. He leaves his legacy of work, love, faith, sacrifice and service for his survivors to continue. His progeny includes his son Artis and daughter Winnie; grandchildren: Hilton Phillips, Jr., ArkelaPhillips, Edward Anderson, Alicia Harper, Marquita Campbell, Shirmeika Saunders, Jocelyn Campbell, Artise Phillips, Jr., Adrian Phillips, and Letisha Phillips; great grandchildren:Malik, Akhiya, Akhil, Mylashia, Anorri, McKenzie, Ahjai, Anthony and Ariyah; and one great-great grandchild: Laila. He is also survived by his sisters Eva Shaw, Annie Doris Highsmith, Ella Harris, and Pauline Orr; brothers-in-law Ulysses Harris, Sr., Enough Harris, and Marcellous Harris, Jr.; sisters-in-law Dorothy Phillips, Delores Green, Emma Harris, Jessie MaeHarris, and Ola Mae Harris. He also leaves nieces and nephews Glenda, Patricia, Rebecca, Leslie, Hugh, Kenneth, Tony, Venson, and Kelvin with whom he shared a very special relationship; long-time, dear friend and godmother to his children, Mrs. Fannie Pinkney; devoted friends Margaret, Gloria, and Sandra; and a host of other nieces, nephews, relatives and friends for whom he had great love and special admiration.
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