Tom Pete Phillips, 86, passed away peacefully in Enon, Ohio surrounded by his loving family on Thursday, May 24, 2018.
Tom was born on August 1, 1931 in Kinston, North Carolina. He was the son of John Curtis and Mamie Dawson Phillips. He had three sisters, Frances Coltrane (Irvin), Laura Goodwin (Walter), Charlotte Acker (Jim), and two brothers, Robert Lee (Frances), and John (Carol). He was the beloved husband and companion to his wife of 62 years, Sumiko (Kawasaki); devoted father of Nelda Burd (James), Judith Campbell (Richard), Tom Pete Phillips, Jr. (Karen), Barbara Phillips, and Christa Horn (Dave); loving grandfather to Desere (George), Jennifer (Jon), Christopher, Nicholas (Sheena), Drew (Liz), Ryan Pete (Michelle), Joshua, Alyssa, Colin, Rachel, and Ryan; and proud great-grandfather of George, Alexander, Ashley, Everett, Elliott, Ellie, Mackenzie, Mikayla, Charlotte, Isabelle, and Derek. He also leaves behind numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, wife Sumiko, brothers Robert and John, and sisters Laura and Charlotte.
Tom enlisted in the Air Force when just out of high school and served his country for 20 years, retiring with the rank of Senior Master Sergeant. While in the Air Force, he graduated from the University of Maryland. His tours of duty included assignments in Okinawa, North Carolina, Montana, Texas, New York, and Ohio. He continued in government service for a 20-year career as a manager in Social Security Administration.
Tom was caring, generous, had a great sense of humor, and was completely devoted to his family and friends. He was a member of the Enon VFW, Byron Church, enjoyed participating in the Okinawa Tomonokai of Ohio, loved to bowl, and play “Words with Friends”. He grew up on a farm in North Carolina and loved playing baseball. He later spent many years coaching Little League baseball. He found great joy working in his large vegetable garden and sharing the harvest with family, friends, and neighbors, tinkering in his garage, and the companionship of his dog, Nahla.
A loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, and uncle, Tom leaves a legacy of love and devotion to family, friends, and all who knew him.
A funeral service will be held on Wednesday May 30, 2018 at 3:00 P.M. at the Byron Church, 3230 Trebein Rd., Fairborn, Pastor H. Wesley Barnhill officiating. The family will receive friends from 1:30 P.M. until the time of service at the church. Burial with military honors will follow at the Byron Cemetery. Arrangements in care of Belton-Stroup Funeral Home, Fairborn.