He was the loving husband to the late Shirley Fox Phillips (February 2023) and is survived by his daughter, Catherine P. Winslow, son, John D Phillips, Jr. and wife Ronni, grandchildren, Chase and John Winslow, Danielle Phillips Swope, and Dalton Phillips; four great-grandchildren, Rosemary and Oliver Strokus Winslow, Sawyer and soon to be born, Harper Winslow. He is also survived by his sister, Anne R. Phillips.
First and foremost, John was the consummate family man who led his life by faith, example and unconditional support for Shirley, his children and grandchildren. The sacrifice he would make to travel to watch a ball game, attend a recital or support the school play was never ending. The point was, Dad was always there... putting family first.
John was born September 10,1927 in Nashville, NC to the late Rev. A. R. and Ruth Burnley Cook Phillips. At the tender age of 6 weeks, the family moved to Dalton in Stokes County, where he grew up with his late sister, Margaret, sister Anne, and his late brother, William. Dad, like his mother and younger sister, learned to love the farm and all the things that went with it. From gathering the eggs to cooking fresh fried chicken at 5 am to priming tobacco and digging worms to go fishing down at the creek, John did it all.
Later in the 60’s at a family cabin outside of Raleigh, he planted a big garden that yielded beans, squash, tomatoes, corn and even watermelon each and every season. There was no question that he proved his green thumb was for real. In his later years, he puttered around the yard at home & particularly on a little strip of ground at the beach house. He would spend hours at that grass patch by the street where he could talk and tell stories to new friends, neighbors and strangers who were just passing by.
Dad loved the “Tarheel state”. During his 30-year career as ad manager for The State Magazine (now Our State), he travelled NC from “Murphy to Manteo ” and places in between, visiting all 100 counties. The amazing thing was that from each of those counties, he could share a story or two about a person, place or thing that would make you laugh, cry and ask for more.
Along with Hugh Morton, Bill Hensley and other notable NC promoters, he was a founding member of the Travel Council of NC. In 1992 John was awarded the Charles J. Parker Award, the Travel Council of North Carolina's highest accolade for individual contributions to North Carolina's travel industry. A true NC ambassador, no doubt.
During his travels and trips he and Mother took together, Dad would connect with all sorts of people. Dad would “disappear” and come back with at least one new friend and always leave them with his favorite question: “when are you coming to Raleigh”? Family legend has it that on one of their cruises where there were 2500 passengers, Dad met & knew 90% of the people, including the captain and crew, by the time the ship returned to port!!
John Dalton Phillips: John, Brother, Honey, Dad, Granddaddy, Greaty, Friend.
We will cherish our memories of him and will greatly miss our father.
A Service celebrating John's life will be held on Friday, January 19, 2023 at 1:00 pm at Hayes Barton United Methodist Church, with a Reception following.
Memorial Contributions may be made to The Tourism Education Foundation of North Carolina -
1800 Camden Rd UNIT 213 - Charlotte, NC 28203, the Pastor's Discretionary Fund, Hayes Barton United Methodist Church - 2209 Fairview Road - Raleigh, NC 27608, or to the Food Bank of NC.
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