Tom Rhea Philips, III
A memorial service will be held at Mammoth Springs in Hattiesburg on Sunday afternoon, March 24, at 2:30 for Tom Rhea Phillips III, age 59.
Tom passed away suddenly of heart complications on Friday, February 22, at his home in Hattiesburg.
Tom was born on October 31,1959 and was a lifelong resident of the Hattiesburg and Petal area. He graduated from Hattiesburg High in 1978 and completed a degree in criminal justice at The University of Southern Mississippi. Tom worked as a Forrest County Deputy Sheriff and for the office of Forrest County Circuit Court Judge Richard McKenzie. He also worked security for several local businesses.
An avid historian and collector, Tom had extensive knowledge of military and regional history of both the south and the pine belt. He often spoke to classes at local schools and to various civic groups on specific historical points of interest. Tom's unique ability to relay stories/information coupled with his passion for history made the subject matter come alive and captivated the attention of people of all ages.
Tom was an active volunteer and member of the Hattiesburg Area Historical Society, Sons of the American Revolution, M.L.E.O.A., and SCV. Tom also volunteered and worked in the restoration of Beauvoir, the Jefferson Davis Home in Biloxi, following Hurricane Katrina.
Tom was proceeded in death by his father, Dr. Tom Rhea Phillips, Jr. of Hattiesburg. He is survived by his mother, Barbara Franklin Phillips; his brother and sister-in-law, Mike and Kim Phillips; his sister and brother-in-law, Alesia and Dr. Brett Valentine- all of Hattiesburg; his brother and sister-in-law, John Allen and Kim Phillips of Chagrin Falls, OH; and his sister and brother-in-law, Lynn and Jason Helwig of Hattiesburg. He is survived by eight nieces and nephews: Rhea- Phillips Valentine Witmer (Ryan) of Chattanooga, TN; James Valentine (Sara), Brett D. Valentine, Shelby Phillips, David Phillips, and Andrew Helwig of Hattiesburg; and Robert and Emily Phillips of Chagrin Falls, OH.
Memorials may be made to the Hattiesburg Area Historical Society, Post Office Box 1573, Hattiesburg, MS 39403.
Family and friends are welcome to join the celebration of Tom's life at the memorial service on Sunday, March 24 at 2:30 at 206 Mammoth Springs Road at the Phillips' Lake House. Dress will be casual.