×

Memphis Funeral Home

5599 Poplar Ave, Memphis, TN

OBITUARY

Phil Smith

March 22, 1941November 6, 2019
Play Tribute Movie

Philip Lee “Phil” Smith, 78, of Collierville, TN, and Foley, AL, passed away Wednesday after courageously battling a host of health issues. He is preceded in death by his wife of 43 years, Kathryn Elizabeth “Kitty” Morrison Smith. He is survived by his daughter Julia Walker, son-in-law Ben Walker, and grandchildren Emma and Ellen Walker, all of Florence, AL; his son Eric Smith and daughter-in-law Sandra Smith of Louisville, CO; his brother Rick Smith and sister-in-law Kathy Smith of Tucson, AZ; his brother Bill Smith and sister-in-law Kim Smith of Coldwater, MI; and his wife Mary Jo Mayton of Foley, AL. He is also preceded in death by his parents, William J. Smith and Mary E. Smith. Born in Grand Rapids, MI, Phil earned his Bachelor of Arts from Hillsdale College, where he was an ATO and starred on the football team as quarterback, and later a graduate degree from Purdue University. He initially followed in his father’s footsteps by working for the YMCA before joining FedEx in 1980. Everyone who met Phil quickly learned that he took the job in Memphis not to advance his career but so he could be closer to Graceland. The move helped him perfect his Elvis impersonation (his rendition of “Trouble” was legendary at Balmoral Presbyterian’s Family Camp talent show), but his true claim to fame was his generous spirit. Everyone who met Phil was drawn to his easygoing personality, warmth and love for all people. He worked at FedEx until his retirement in 2003, when he and Kitty devoted more time to travel and fun, especially with their beloved children, grandchildren and siblings. Phil also was an avid tennis player and golfer, and he was a charter member of a ragtag crew of golf buddies nicknamed the “Frozen Chosen.” He was as passionate about the post-game revelry with those friends—highlighted by celebratory Bud Lights and gut-busting laughs—as he was the actual competition. Phil will be missed by the many, many, many people who called him their brother, father, Pops, uncle and/or friend. A memorial service will be held Sunday, November 10, at 2 p.m. at Balmoral Presbyterian Church, 6413 Quince Road, Memphis, TN 38119. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be sent in memory of Phil to the YMCA—and that everyone raise a cold one in honor of this incomparable man.

  • FAMILY

  • Julia Walker (Ben), Daughter
  • Emma and Ellen Walker, Grandchildren
  • Eric Smith (Sandra), Son
  • Rick Smith (Kathy), Brother
  • Bill Smith (Kim), Brother
  • Mary Jo Mayton, Wife
  • He is preceded in death by his wife of 43 years, Kathryn Elizabeth “Kitty” Morrison Smith and his parents, William J. Smith and Mary E. Smith.
  • DONATIONS

  • the YMCA

Services

  • Gathering of Family and Friends Sunday, November 10, 2019
  • Memorial Service Sunday, November 10, 2019

Memories

Phil Smith

have a memory or condolence to add?

ADD A MEMORY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Biography

Philip Lee “Phil” Smith, 78, of Collierville, TN, and Foley, AL, passed away Wednesday after courageously battling a host of health issues. He is preceded in death by his wife of 43 years, Kathryn Elizabeth “Kitty” Morrison Smith. He is survived by his daughter Julia Walker, son-in-law Ben Walker, and grandchildren Emma and Ellen Walker, all of Florence, AL; his son Eric Smith and daughter-in-law Sandra Smith of Louisville, CO; his brother Rick Smith and sister-in-law Kathy Smith of Tucson, AZ; his brother Bill Smith and sister-in-law Kim Smith of Coldwater, MI; and his wife Mary Jo Mayton of Foley, AL. He is also preceded in death by his parents, William J. Smith and Mary E. Smith.
Born in Grand Rapids, MI, Phil earned his Bachelor of Arts from Hillsdale College, where he was an ATO and starred on the football team as quarterback, and later a graduate degree from Purdue University. He initially followed in his father’s footsteps by working for the YMCA before joining FedEx in 1980. Everyone who met Phil quickly learned that he took the job in Memphis not to advance his career but so he could be closer to Graceland. The move helped him perfect his Elvis impersonation (his rendition of “Trouble” was legendary at Balmoral Presbyterian’s Family Camp talent show), but his true claim to fame was his generous spirit. Everyone who met Phil was drawn to his easygoing personality, warmth and love for all people.
He worked at FedEx until his retirement in 2003, when he and Kitty devoted more time to travel and fun, especially with their beloved children, grandchildren and siblings. Phil also was an avid tennis player and golfer, and he was a charter member of a ragtag crew of golf buddies nicknamed the “Frozen Chosen.” He was as passionate about the post-game revelry with those friends—highlighted by celebratory Bud Lights and gut-busting laughs—as he was the actual competition.
Phil will be missed by the many, many, many people who called him their brother, father, Pops, uncle and/or friend.
A memorial service will be held Sunday, November 10, at 2 p.m. at Balmoral Presbyterian Church, 6413 Quince Road, Memphis, TN 38119. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be sent in memory of Phil to the YMCA—and that everyone raise a cold one in honor of this incomparable man.