OBITUARY

Harry Adrien Phillips

March 11, 1951November 29, 2018
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It is with great sadness that the family of Harry Adrien Phillips announces his passing on Nov. 29, 2018 at the age of 67 years. Harry will be lovingly remembered by his son James (16), parents Raymond and Alma Phillips, siblings Kiki Fabricant (Andy), Leslie Germaine (Gerry) and Brian Phillips. He will also be fondly remembered by former spouse, Roberta Phillips and childhood friend, Andy Thibault.

Harry was born in New London, CT and became an Eagle Scout and a highly-accomplished newspaper reporter and speech writer.

He graduated from Montville High School and attended Mitchell College, now Mitchell University, in New London, before earning a Bachelor of Arts degree with a double major in Journalism and Political Science from New Mexico Highlands University, Las Vegas, NM.

Harry began his newspaper career as a town news and police reporter at the Norwich, CT Bulletin. He became renowned for his cultivation of law enforcement sources and he exposed racist practices at a local zoning commission. His scoops included a story about a modern day bounty hunter who was beaten and sent to the hospital by a local felon. The bounty hunter later became the subject of a TV movie.

When Harry left newspapers to become a press spokesman at the Capitol in Hartford, police announced his departure on a statewide teletype. He went on to work for several congressmen in Washington, D.C. and then became editorial director for the U.S. Department of Energy.

In all, Harry served as a speech writer for 12 presidential cabinet, subcabinet and/or agency heads.

As the senior speechwriter for the director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management in 2004, he earned the top speech writing prize -- the Bronze Anvil Award -- from the Public Relations Society of America. He closed out his career of federal service as a senior writer for the U.S. Department of Defense.

Those who knew Harry understood his passion for writing. He always enjoyed being near the ocean and spent many vacations on the CT, NJ and Maine shores with his family. Gardening, canning and making hot sauce were relaxing pleasures and he was known for playing pranks on family and friends starting as a young boy. Summers in his youth spent working on Fisher’s Island with his siblings and friends brought him lifelong memories.

But, most importantly he treasured spending time with his beloved son, James.

Services

20 December

Gathering

3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

20 December

Celebration of Life

4:30 pm

REMEMBERING

Harry Adrien Phillips

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John Peterson

December 12, 2018

I had the good fortune to be managing editor of The Bulletin and hire Harry as our lead police reporter. It was one of the best decisions I made.

He was new to reporting but it wasn’t long before he was making major contributions. His engaging personality made him successful in forging valuable relationships. People liked him and they trusted him and his judgment.

Police reporting is very challenging and many people in law enforcement are leery of reporters. But once people knew Harry, they were comfortable with him and many would take him into their confidence, frequently calling him as news was breaking. His network of confidential sources seemed endless, “Harry from The Bulletin” was known state-wide. He was certainly the “rock star” of police reporters in that era.

Harry was dedicated and persistent and regardless of the challenges, would deliver a well-written, cogent story with insights greatly superior to the competition. He was a beacon for the staff and great for morale. His humor and pranks were powerful medicine in the newsroom during tense and stressful moments.

In 45 years as an editor, executive and consultant, I’ve met very few people who could match his talent, personality and energy.

We were clearly a better newspaper because of him, and we were better people for knowing him.

My sincere condolences to Harry’s family, loved ones and friends.

Kieran O'Leary

December 11, 2018

I took over the police beat at the Bulletin when Harry gave it up. Which is not to say I replaced him because that proved to be an impossible task. No one had his sources and no journalist was as trusted by the law enforcement community as Harry was. He helped me when I needed it and stayed out of my way when I needed that too. I will always remember his generous spirit and immeasurable talent. My condolences to the Phillips family and all who loved him.

Dan Jackson

December 8, 2018

Harry and I worked as reporters at The Bulletin in the late ‘70s. He was an exemplary reporter and writer but I remember him most as a fine human being.

John Rowland

December 7, 2018

Harry was a good man , a kind soul who loved his work , his family and his friends. My prayers are with you today
John Rowland

Moe Mitterling

December 5, 2018

I worked with Harry for a short time at the Norwich Bulletin in the '70s. We became friends and I'll always remember his great sense of humor and his devilish grin. Sympathies to his family.

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Taken August 23, 1951. Five months old.

FROM THE FAMILY

Three and a half years old,

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Four and a half years old. Taken August 31, 1955.