Hon. Edmund J. Phillips, Jr, attorney, passed away on Oct. 20, 2020 at the age of 82.
He was a faithful member of Trinity Episcopal Church for over 50 years, where he served as Senior Warden.
Born in New York, New York in 1938, Eddie, as he is affectionately known, made his way south with his family in high school where he graduated from Quitman High School in 1956. He attended Vanderbilt University and was awarded a bachelor’s degree in 1960. Afterward, he attended the University of Mississippi School of Law where he earned his Juris doctorate degree in 1963.
Mr. Phillips began his law practice in the city of Newton shortly thereafter where he remained throughout his life.
A proud member of the United States Army Reserve, Phillips rose to the rank of Full Colonel and earned the esteemed position of Commander of the 11th Military Law Center for the Southeastern United States in the Judge Advocate General's Corps. He was a recipient of the Meritorious Service Medal.
He served as Municipal Court Judge for the City of Newton for a total of over 20 years. He also served as Appointed Appellate Attorney covering several Mississippi counties in the 8th Circuit Court District. He was a member of the MS Bar Association, the American Bar Association and the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Bar Association.
Judge Phillips was dedicated to his community and strongly believed in commitment to public service. As such, he served as President of the Board of Trustees for the Newton Public Library, as a member of the Newton Municipal School Board for over a decade, many of those as President, as a Boy Scout District Committee Member & Eagle Scout Honor Court Member, as a Cubmaster of the Newton Cub Scouts and as President of Newton Little League Baseball. He served as a Rotarian for over 50 years and was a member of the Newton Chamber of Commerce.
Although Judge Phillips had many professional, military and civic accomplishments and devoted himself to a life of service, he was a dedicated father first and foremost. He cherished this role and said it was by far the most rewarding role of his life. He treasured his time with each of his children above all else and was always available at any time to each one of them.
He is the loving and dedicated father of a son, Troy Phillips, and three daughters, Kimberly Ann Fortenberry, Susan Phillips and Rachel Phillips (Mark Thomas). He is the proud grandfather of Sydney Fortenberry. He is also survived by his beloved sister Judith Fulton (Eddie) and sister in law Sandra Phillips.
Phillips was the loving son of the late Edmund J. Phillips, Sr. and Ella K. Phillips and brother to the late C. Keeton Phillips.
Eddie was an avid reader and considered brilliant by most who knew him. He always enjoyed taking the time to share his knowledge with others. His favorite hobby was watching Vanderbilt sports and Los Angeles Dodgers baseball; a fan from his childhood in New York City when they were still known as the Brooklyn Dodgers.
Visitation will take place on Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020 from 10 a.m.-noon at Newton County Funeral Home-North in Newton, with the funeral services immediately following in the chapel. Burial will take place at 3 p.m. in the Odd Fellows Cemetery in Quitman, Miss.
An online guestbook may be signed at newtoncountyfuneralhome.com.