Phyllis Purnell Phillips
July 19, 1927  -  January 1, 2019

Phyllis Purnell Phillips

Phyllis Purnell Phillips, 91, died peacefully on January 1, 2019 in Pensacola, Florida.

She was born in Lebanon, Tennessee on July 19, 1927.

Retired from Auburn University in 1983, she then returned to Wilson County where she became an active member of the First Presbyterian Church in Lebanon. She spent many happy years, along with her husband, former president Ray C. Phillips, as a proud and active supporter of Cumberland University.

She was preceded in death by her loving husband, Ray C. Phillips; parents, Roe and Clara Purnell; and her brother, Carter Purnell and wife Patsy.

Phyllis is survived by her children, Jim Phillips (MaryAnn), Gina Murray (Bill), and Lisa Ham (Bob); grandchildren, David Whatley, Will Murray, Katherine Phillips, and Jay Phillips; great grandchildren, Elizabeth Whatley, Jackson Whatley, and Ava Phillips; brothers, Charles Purnell (Helen) and Ben Purnell (Evelyn), and many nieces and nephews.

A private memorial will be held at a later date.


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  1. LA
    Baltimore, MD

    Dear Family, I send you my heartfelt condolence on the loss of your dear family member. May John 5:28,29 truly strengthen you to reflect on God’s promises to bring back to life your dear loved one to a beautified earth where she can be reunited with her family, and never have to get sick and die, ever again. (Psalm 37:11,29; Isaiah 33:24)


    Dear Lisa, Gina and Jim,
    I am so sorry to read about your lovely mother. I have many fond memories of her when I spent the night at your home many years ago. She always struck me as the PERFECT Southern Lady! Please know the you are all in my prayers.


    Marilyn Parker

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