LOUIS C. PHILLIPS was reunited with his beloved wife, Ella, when the Lord called him home on Sunday June 23, 2019. He was surrounded by family and the community he was so much a pillar of as he passed away peacefully at Sharp Memorial Hospital. During his time in the hospital, he was visited by several who recounted the ways in which he impacted their lives. He was known as a strong, kind, generous man who always had a kind word or quick wit to share.
Louis was born on March 11, 1938 in Quitman, Louisiana to Pernel and Alton Phillips as the first of their three children. He attended school in Jonesboro, Louisiana, where he met his future wife, Ella. As a teenager, he was a natural athlete, participating in several sports, including playing on his high school’s football team. Due to his skill, his teammates nicknamed him as the “Gravy Train.” He graduated from high school in 1956 from Jackson High School and spent one year at Grambling State University before heading to California for work. He would return to Louisiana by bus to marry his sweetheart, Ella, on January 16, 1959 before they returned to San Diego together.
Louis and Ella became members of Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church shortly after their arrival to San Diego. They remained members throughout their lives and both served faithfully. Louis was a talented choir member with a deep memorable voice.
Shortly after arriving in San Diego, he joined the Laborers Union to start his career in construction and he excelled to become the first African American laborer foreman in San Diego County. He continued to climb the ranks and became a business agent and field representative for the union until retiring in 2001.
Louis’s love of sports followed him into adulthood. He became an active golf player, winning many tournaments. He played golf nearly once a week for several decades. He also was a staunch Chargers fan while they remained loyal to San Diego. He also greatly enjoyed baseball and basketball, almost never missing a Lakers or Dodgers game.
While he loved sports, he always made time for family. He was ready to listen and provide support whenever it was sought. A true rock of his family, his dedication, faithfulness, and strength will be forever missed.
Louis was preceded in death by his wife Ella, parents, brother, Frank Phillips, and sister, Barbara Ellis.
He will be remembered by his two sons, Derrick Phillips and his wife, Marilyn, and Rodric Phillips all of San Diego, CA; as well as his granddaughters, Sherese and Joy, great granddaughter, Leyla, nieces and nephews as well as a host of other relatives and friends.
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