Thomas F. Phillips, 85 of Hominy, OK passed from this life on Friday evening July 5, 2019 at 10:51 pm at his home in Hominy. He was born September 20, 1933 in Blytheville, Arkansas; the son of Jackson Burnett and Mary Ailine (Moore) Phillips. After graduating high school in Arab, Alabama, Tom joined the Air Force and served in Korea, where he went on to earn several service and defense medals. Following his discharge on January 13, 1956, he married Sue Mae Armstrong the very next day in Montgomery, Alabama. He went on to attend college in Jonesboro, Arkansas.
Tom received his bachelor and Master’s Degree in Teaching and Administration from Arkansas State University and taught in Blytheville, AR, Bogue, KS, Nashville, KS and Ulysses, KS before moving his wife Sue and five children to Hominy and becoming the principal of Hominy High School in August of 1968. He later taught and coached at Cleveland High School for a few years before retiring in Oklahoma – but you can’t keep a great teacher/coach down so he traveled two hours up Highway 99 and taught and coached for 6 more years in Madison, KS.
Tom loved all sports, but mostly baseball. First, he pitched for Arkansas State University and then pitched for the Air Force. He coached American Legion Baseball for many years. His players came from many towns around Hominy. While living in Arkansas (in his younger years), he was also a stand in or call up pitcher for various minor league teams. He loved playing so much that he would pitch for any team within driving distance.
Tom spent his life working with children and there was nothing he wouldn’t do to help someone in need. In the 1970’s, his two daughters wanted to play softball and hominy High School did not have a girls’ team, so he started one and coached them until Hominy hired a teacher to coach the girl’s team, as well as the boys. He spent many years enjoying all his grandchildren and great grandchildren and, of course, taught most of them to play ball and a few to golf. Tom was preceded in death by his grandparents; Lucian Thurman and Mary Foster Moore; his parents Jackson Burnett Phillips and Mary Phillips Saylor; brothers Charles Phillips and Bill Phillips and his only sister Jean Davidson. Also preceding him in death were his granddaughters Ashley Karol-Sue Smith and Kiley Sue Smith.
Tom is survived by his wife of 63 years, Sue Phillips; his children Thomas F. Phillips Jr. and wife Margie; Kathy Smith and husband Paul; Susan Pogue and husband Gary; Richard Phillips and wife Monica; Nathan Phillips and wife Sabrina; grandchildren: Heather (Shawn) Irick; Thomas (Erin) Phillips III; Lindsay (Terry) Owens; Michael Glenn; Kathryn (Boh) Dupree; Nathan Smith; Joshua Pogue; Monica Phillips; Samantha Phillips; Victoria (Jack) Balbes and Amanda Phillips. Great grandchildren: Shawn and Payton Irick; Ryan and Emily Phillips; Jude, Luna, Tryton, Blaze and Griffin Owens; Kenzington and Caden Dupree; Jacob and Michael Pogue; Isaac Balbes. In addition, Tom is survived by 2 brothers: J.B. (Linda) Phillips; Ed (Mary Margaret) Moore; and a plethora of nieces, nephews and friends.
Funeral services for Tom will be held at 10:00 AM Wednesday, July 10, 2019 in the sanctuary of the First Baptist Church with Pastor Mark Formby officiating. Military honors will be accorded by the United States Air Force; and he will be laid to rest in the A.J. Powell Memorial Cemetery. Visitation will be from noon till 8:00 pm on Tuesday at the Powell Funeral Home in Hominy.
Those that would like to honor Tom’s memory, may do so by contributing in Tom’s name to the First Baptist Church Children’s Fund at 202 South Price, Hominy, OK 74035 in lieu of flowers.
Powell Funeral Home has been entrusted with the arrangements. Online condolences and memories may be left in the guestbook at PowellFuneralService.com.