Townson-Rose Funeral Home

Obituary for Joseph Phillips

10/14/1934 - 02/03/2023

Joseph Marion Phillips, age 88 of Murphy, departed for his eternal Heavenly home on February 3, 2023, at Mission Hospital in Asheville, NC, after a period of declining health. Joe was born October 14, 1934, in Huntsville, TN, to the late George Cecil Phillips and the late Dorothy Sexton Phillips. In addition to his parents, Joe was preceded in death by his wife of 50 years, Lela Acres Phillips, two older brothers that passed away in infancy, Harold Russell Phillips and James William Phillips, younger brother Norman Ray Phillips, and his grandson Cody Coleman.

Joseph attended Huntsville High School, where he excelled playing basketball and was recruited by the University of Tennessee-Martin during his senior year but chose to enter the workforce as a hardware distributor salesman with C.M. McClung instead of attending college. He and Lela were married April 21, 1956, and then his company relocated him to Murphy, NC, in 1963, where he resided for the remainder of his life. In his younger years, Joe was involved in local politics, including being a member of the Cherokee County Board of Education for 12 years with him being chairman for 11 out of the 12 years he was on the board. Joe was a member of First Baptist Church of Murphy, but also enjoyed attending Tomotla Baptist Church to hear his friend, Reverend Harold Stiles, preach. Joe was a devoted and dedicated family man that loved his wife, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He enjoyed spending time with his family, always supporting the children and attending their various activities. Joe also enjoyed nature, including feeding and watching the deer that lived on his property.

Joe is survived by his two daughters, Susie Phillips, and Brenda Phillips and husband Paul Robinson; son, Bryan Phillips and wife Ronda; granddaughter Beth McDonald; grandsons Joseph Hayden Phillips and Carson Phillips; great-granddaughters Ashlyn Graves and husband Westley, Bailey Brown, and Elynor McDonald, all of Murphy, NC; nieces, Traci Byrd and husband, Gordon, and Melissa Harness, all of Tennessee.

Funeral services will be held at 2:00 pm on February 7, 2023, at the Townson-Rose Funeral Home Chapel-Murphy with Revs. Harold Stiles and Greg Swain conducting the service. Interment will be in the Sunset Cemetery. Pallbearers will be Joseph Hayden Phillips, Carson Phillips, Paul Robinson, Westley Graves, Ray Hicks, Randy Brown, Roger Gibson, and Dr. Jeff Martin. Honorary pallbearers will be Ryan Cunningham, Joe Swain, George Worley, Grier Ivie, Richard Pullium, Kenny Lance, and Don Pickelsimer.

The family will receive friends from 12:00-2:00 pm at the Townson-Rose Funeral Home Chapel-Murphy prior to the services.

Townson-Rose Funeral Home-Murphy is in charge of arrangements.

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