OBITUARY

William Bill Thomas Phillips

October 4, 1933May 9, 2013
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Bill Phillips was born in 1933 on a farm in the small town of Tuckerman, Arkansas. After moving to Detroit in the 1940’s and growing up in Melvindale, he joined the Air Force during the Korean War. He served at Pepperrell Air Force base in Newfoundland as an airplane hydraulic technician and line chief. In Newfoundland, he also met the love of his life and future wife, Bridget Culleton.

Coming home to Michigan with his new bride after the war, he used the skills he learned in the Air Force to enter into a business partnership designing hydraulic systems. With a young and growing family of a wife and six kids, he made the leap to become sole owner of PSI Hydraulics. Two mortgages and two more children later, PSI grew into a multimillion dollar enterprise. With the success of the core business firmly established, Bill initiated a series of acquisitions and further growth to make Phillips Service Industries, Inc., into a diversified, $130 million company employing more than 500 people across the US and abroad. On the home front, the family also continued to grow by acquisition. Eight kids, plus their spouses, twenty grandchildren and one freshly minted great-granddaughter is the current tally. As if all of the above didn’t keep him busy enough, Bill spent a great deal of his time supporting local political causes and philanthropic efforts. He was also an avid outdoorsman, making many hunting and fishing trips as far afield as Alaska and closer to home to his beloved camp in the U.P. He was also an avid reader, and most recently an author, publishing his memoir, “An American Entrepreneur,” in 2010.

After a hard-fought battle with ALS, our dad passed away peacefully, surrounded by his children and their families and many dedicated care-givers. Of course he will be sorely missed, but he left such a large legacy that there will continue to be reminders of him everywhere. He is survived by his children; Lynn Phillips, Donna Westmoreland, Lisa (Brent) Bassett, Terry (Steve) Cauzillo, Scott (Sabine) Phillips, Bob Phillips, Amy (Mike) Fitzpatrick and Sean (Jane) Phillips. He is the adored grandfather of Sarah, Erin (Mike) King, Meghan, Ben, Lauren, Max, Caleb, Haley, Laine, Jarred, Molly, Amy, Andy, Matt, Alia, Zane, Jack, Will, Luke and Owen. Proud great-grandfather of Bridget. Dear brother of Phyllis Gail Johnston.

The family will receive friends for a Memorial Visitation on Sat, May 11, 2013 from 2-9pm with an evening Rosary at Harry J. Will Funeral Home 37000 Six Mile, Livonia, MI 48152.

There will be a Memorial Mass at 10:00am on Monday, May 13, 2013 at Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church 132 Orchard Drive, Northville, Michigan 48167.

Bill will be laid to rest with his wife in Rural Hill Cemetery on Seven Mile Road, west of Sheldon, in Northville, Michigan following the Mass.

Donations to ALS of Michigan in memory of William T. Phillips for the Respite Care Assistance Program 24359 Northwestern Hwy, Suite #100 Southfield, MI 48075.

Services

  • Memorial Visitation Saturday, May 11, 2013
  • Rosary Service Saturday, May 11, 2013
  • Memorial Gathering Monday, May 13, 2013
  • Memorial Mass Monday, May 13, 2013
  • Committal Service Monday, May 13, 2013
  • Memorial Luncheon Monday, May 13, 2013
REMEMBERING

William Bill Thomas Phillips

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Lisa Phillips

January 28, 2014

My father in law, Mr William Phillips was one of the kindest, most loving gentleman that I have ever known...
He adored my mother in law, and his children and Grandchildren...
I will forever miss him, and my beautiful mother in law.

Florette Gaskin

May 29, 2013

It is of great regret that we learned of the passing of a very good and decent man. Whenever he and his family stayed in Barbados, we thoroughly enjoy their company, he was a bright spark to our lives. On behalf of me and my family I extend condolences to the entire family of Bill Phillips. Our prayers are with you, may he rest in Peace.

John R. Ghindia

May 15, 2013

I am very sorry to hear of the passing of your father Bill Phillips! I extend my condolences to the entire Phillips family as well as every one at PSI! It has been an honor to work with the first class organization that your father created! I especially enjoyed visiting with your father at his book signing in Northville and learning more about his incredible life from reading his memoir "An American Entrepreneur"! May your father rest in peace in our Lord's heavenly kingdom. And may you receive abundant grace and comfort in the wonderful memories and example he provided.

May 14, 2013

Mr Philips was a great leader and someone I truly enjoyed working for. My deepest sympathy and prays to the whole family. May God Bless you all.

Bob Tuite

Steve Bogdan

May 12, 2013

It is with the utmost respect that Pat and I extend our condolences to the entire Phillips family, employees and friends who were touched by a true patriot and community leader such as Bill Phillips. His quick wit, humor and candor will be remembered fondly.

Steven, Linda, Stephanie Cadle

May 11, 2013

Mr. Phillips was a rare, giving person and he touched the lives of all that worked for him. Working for him was a Blessing for my entire family. Your loss is Heaven's gain and our family sends our prayers and sympathies.

Nicholas Fernimos

May 11, 2013

Mr. Phillips was a mentor , baseball coach and my best friends father. He always treated me with love and kindness . What I like best about Mr. Phillips is no matter how successful he was he still had a humble nature, never acting as though he was better then another. A strong leader of his family and business. A true warrior .

May God bless the entire Phillips family and may brighter days find their way into the hearts of all who read this.

Dr. David Dietrich

May 11, 2013

I was deeply sad to learn of the death of William Phillips. My heart-felt condolences and prayers go out to each family member and loved one. He will be greatly missed: he loved each of his loved ones profoundly.

Noreen Press

May 11, 2013

To the Philips Family,
We were sorry to hear about your father's death. I was happy that I met him 2 years ago at the Culleton Reunion in Toronto, and was hoping to see him again this summer at our reunion here in Newfoundland. Please know that you are all in our thoughts and prayers.

Noreen (nee Culleton) and Harold Press

John Werth

May 11, 2013

Dear Phillips Family,

I had the pleasure to meet your father over 12 years ago at Meadowbrook Country Club. Shortly after that I saw him again with your mother at the New Wing Hing restaurant. Over the years I have enjoyed the conversations with both your parents. Truly two of the nicest and most generous people I have ever met.

My condolences to all of you. He will be surely missed. Our prayers are with all of you at this difficult time.

John Werth
Director of Public Safety
Northville Township