Cover photo for Johnnie Phillips Sr.'s Obituary
Johnnie Phillips Sr. Profile Photo

Johnnie Phillips Sr.

Johnnie was born on April 20, 1934, in Hemphill, West Virginia. In 1953, he graduated from Park Central High School in Bluefield, West Virginia.

Johnnie and Mary Alice Redd were married on August 3, 1953, in Tazewell, Virginia. They celebrated 62 years of marriage at the time of her passing on November 17, 2015.

Johnnie is preceded in death by his parents, Odell John Wesley Phillips and Minnie Clyde Swafford Phillips; brothers, William Phillips, and Ernest Fred (Arzola) Phillips; and sisters, Mary McClean, Marie Tinsley, Louise Phillips and beloved niece, Artelia “Peggy” (Earnest) Reese.

Johnnie is survived by children, Johnnie (Gena) Phillips, Jr., Edward Wesley Phillips, Ronald A. Phillips, Michael L. Phillips, and Carol L. Phillips; sister-in-laws, Sylvia A. Smith, and Rev. Arzolla (Ernest) Phillips; eight grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren; niece, Sabra Airall; nephews, James Bailey and Kenneth Bailey; and a host of adored nieces, nephews, family, and friends.

Johnnie Phillips, Sr. enlisted in the United States Army in 1954 and retired with 20 years of service in 1974. Serving four overseas commands in England, Okinawa, Thailand, and Vietnam. He received numerous awards and recognitions for his service, notably the Vietnam Campaign and Service Medals, National Defense Medal and three Good Conduct Medals.

His various principal duties included Platoon Sergeant, Radio Field Repairman, Tactical Communication Chief, and Parachute Jumper and Instructor.

Deacon Johnnie Philips was an ordained deacon under the leadership of Rev. Shredrick L. Fowler at Christ Memorial Missionary Baptist Church. He enjoyed his service to the members, visiting the sick and shut in, serving the elderly communion and providing a listening ear to those in need. His profound faith and good humor were inspiring to all. He also served as Chairman, and Co-chairman of the Deacon Board; Trustee Board; and, as an Usher.

His retirements included Brinks Security Systems and Tussing Elementary School at the Pickerington School District where he served as custodian and postal worker. He was highly respected and revered by students and staff.

As we gather to honor the life of Johnnie Phillips, Sr., let us remember the remarkable man he was. Let us honor his memory by carrying forward his teachings of love, hard work, and unwavering faith.

Though our hearts are heavy with grief, let us find comfort in knowing he now rests in the loving arms of our Heavenly Father.

Johnnie Phillips, Sr., age 89. Sunrise April 20, 1934 and Sunset September 22, 2023. Visitation 1:00 PM and Funeral Service 2:00 PM Monday, October 16, 2023 at MARLAN J. GARY FUNERAL HOME, THE CHAPEL OF PEACE EAST, 5456 E. Livingston Ave. (one block east of Noe Bixby, turn North on Lonsdale Rd). To read the complete obituary, order flowers, view video tribute and offer condolences to the Phillips, Sr Family, visit

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