Thomas Jefferson Phillips

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Thomas Jefferson Phillips passed away at the age of 89 on Sept. 30, 2013, after a long illness. He was born in a log cabin in Figure Five, Ark. on May 19, 1924. He attended elementary school in Rudy and graduated high school in Alma. He then attended Ft. Smith Junior College. In 1946 he joined the Army and was in the 8th Army that occupied Japan at the end of World War II. He attended Arkansas State Teacher’s College in Conway, where he received his Bachelor’s Degree and the University of Arkansas, where he received his Master’s Degree and met Joy Pickett, his wife of almost 62 years. He began his teaching career at several small schools in Arkansas. Then they moved to Louisiana where he continued his teaching career. After attending further graduate school at the University of Missouri and Peabody Teachers College in Nashville, he continued his career as an Assistant Professor of Special Education first at Northeast Louisiana University in Monroe, and then at Northwestern State University. He retired to Fisher, Louisiana and then to Ingleside, Texas, with his daughter and son-in-law. He joined the Masonic Lodge in 1946 at Mansfield, Arkansas and the Eastern Star in 1967. He is Past Master of Florien Lodge #263 and was also a member of the York Rite bodies of Masonry, where he was involved on both a local and state level. He was a member of Mount Carmel Chapter #3 Order of the Eastern Star, where he and his wife were Worthy Matron and Worthy Patron multiple times. He was also an affiliated member of Aransas Lodge 1918 in Aransas Pass, Texas, as well as The Aransas Pass Chapter #162 Order of the Eastern Star. Phillips is survived by Joy Pickett Phillips, his loving wife of more than 61 years. He is also survived by his daughters Marsa (Tom) Merrick of Ingleside, Texas; Sabra Phillips Caldwell of Winchester, Tenn. and son Jeffery Phillips (Miki) of Fisher, and close family friend Gail Dye, Rockport, Texas; grandchildren (spouses) are Major and Katie Caldwell of Prattville, Ala.; Christine Caldwell Hughes (Kris) of Manchester, Tenn.; Meredith Caldwell of Baton Rouge; Phillip Merrick (Carrie) of San Diego, Calif.; Sergeant Jeffrey Merrick, Ft. Hood, Texas; Frank Lenoir (Jessica) of DeRidder, and T.J. Phillips of Fisher. Great grandchildren are Thomas Merrick; Isaac and Emily Caldwell and Kristina and Leah Hughes. He was preceded in death by his parents, William Benjamin and Ida Triplett Phillips of Figure Five, Arkansas. He outlived all of his siblings: brothers Jackie Phillips, Loyd Phillips, Shannon Phillips, and sister Bertha Lee Phillips, plus a brother and sister. Ola Phillips who were born and died before his birth. He is also preceded in death by his son-in-law, John Caldwell of Baton Rouge. Funeral services were held on Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013, beginning at 11 a.m. at the Warren Meadows Funeral Home Chapel in Many, Cemetery in Many. Visitation was on Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013 from 5-7 p.m. at the Warren Meadows Funeral Home Chapel in Many. Online condolences may be made to the family at

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