Forrest Charles Phillips, Jr.

Forrest Charles Phillips, Jr., 60, of Hattiesburg, MS, was taken home to be with his Lord and Savior on February 4, 2020.

Forrest was born on March 24, 1959, in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and was a 1977 graduate of Hattiesburg High School, where he was an all-sports equipment manager for Hattiesburg High Athletics. He graduated from the University of Mississippi in 1982, where he served as equipment manager for the Rebel football and baseball teams, rising to Head Student Manager for Coach Jake Gibbs’ baseball team.
In 1983, Forrest married the love of his life, Pamela Lynn Rath, of Wiggins, MS. Forrest and Pam started their life together along the Mississippi Gulf Coast and settled in Slidell, Louisiana, where he worked for Hershey as a sales representative. After the birth of their oldest son, Forrest Charles “Chip” Phillips, III, Forrest and Pam moved to Brandon, Mississippi, where Forrest worked for United Salt Corporation. During his time with both Hershey and United Salt Corporation, Forrest won numerous sales awards and recognitions for his proformance, including the President’s Cup for outstanding performance during his time at Hershey. After two years in Brandon, his job took him back to his hometown of Hattiesburg. In 1992, their youngest son, Henry Claiborne “Clay” Phillips was born. Forrest spent the next twenty years of his professional career in the fabric business working for, RM Coco, The Robert Allen Duralee Group, including the last nine months with Carole Fabrics.

Forrest was the quintessential sales representative, always putting his customer’s needs first. Forrest was known for random acts of kindness he showed towards his customers, and his unique ability to connect with each customer on a personal level, based on a genuine interest in both their business success and personal life. Forrest understood that sales, regardless of industry, was based on relationships, and Forrest had the unique ability to connect with each of his customers on a level few are able to achieve.

Outside of work, Forrest was a decorated sports official, officiating youth, high school, and college athletics for over forty years. Forrest was an outstanding official in all sports, officiating football, baseball, softball, and basketball, but truly excelled in basketball, where he spent a year as an SEC Women’s Basketball Official, and was selected to work a Women’s NCAA Basketball Tournament. He also worked as an official in the Metro, SWAC, MACJC, MHSAA, and MAIS conferences. He was also a member of the Mississippi Collegiate Umpires Association, serving most recently on the MCUA board. Forrest also coached numerous sports teams for sons Chip and Clay. 

In addition to working with the Mississippi sports and officiating community, Forrest served as an independent consultant for ESS Corporation, an organization that assists in conducting elections across Mississippi. Forrest was inducted into the University of Mississippi M Club for letter winners in 1980, a unique distinction, as this is an honor traditionally reserved for players. He was also a member of Elks Lodge, Hattiesburg Krewe of Zeus, Hattiesburg Parks and Recreation Board, and most recently served as a University of Mississippi Alumni Association Board Member.

Forrest was a man of great faith, who loved his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. As a child, he achieved nine years of continuous Sunday school attendance. Just this past year he accepted the challenge of reading The Bible all the way through and enjoyed it immensely. Throughout his life, he kept Christ in the center, along with his wife and two sons. He loved music, especially gospel music, and enjoyed volunteering with the church choir. Forrest served as a Deacon of First Baptist Church, Hattiesburg. He was a member of Main Street United Methodist Church, where he volunteered with the Aldersgate Mission, serving low-Income families, children, and the homeless in Hattiesburg. Forrest and Pam are members of the Outreach Sunday School class.

Forrest will be remembered for his quick smile, engaging personality, and genuine love of others. He never met a stranger, and was a close friend to countless people. Throughout his life, he routinely put others before himself, consistently going out of his way for those less fortunate. Forrest loved his friends, he loved his Ole Miss Rebels, but most of all, he loved his family.

He was preceded in death by his brother, William Scott Phillips (Dana).

Forrest is survived by his wife of 36 years, Pamela Rath Phillips; his sons Forrest Charles “Chip” Phillips, III (Mary Katherine) of Goldsboro, North Carolina; Henry Claiborne “Clay” Phillips (Allison) of Oxford, Mississippi; and grandchildren Forrest Charles Phillips, IV (Charles) and Mary Marshall Phillips. He is also survived by his parents, Nellie and Forrest Charles Phillips, Sr. of Hattiesburg, Mississippi; his brother, Perry Wayne Phillips (Alana) of Hattiesburg, Mississippi; his sister, Lee Phillips Lawrence (David) of Dallas, Texas; his sister-in-law, Dana Bryan Phillips; and his in-laws, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Rath of Wiggins, Mississippi. He leaves behind several nieces and nephews.

A celebration of Forrest’s Life will be held on February 10, 2020 at 1:30pm at Main Street United Methodist Church with Reverend Gary Shows, Reverend Paul Koonce, Pastor Monty Bounds of 19th Avenue Baptist Church, and Reverend Todd Watson of Main Street Methodist. Visitation will be held at Main Street United Methodist Church on February 9, 2020 from 3:00pm-6:00pm, and again on February 10, 2020 from 12:00pm-1:30pm immediately prior to the service.

Pallbearers will be Nephews of Forrest: Steven Willis Rath, William Scott Phillips, Jr., Hunter Lovell Lawrence, Perry Wayne Phillips, Jr., Harrison David Lawrence, and Marshall Collins Phillips.

Honorary pallbearers will be all sports officials across the State of Mississippi.

Remembrances can be made to Aldersgate Mission, an urban mission project of Main Street United Methodist Church.

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