William Gary Phillips, 78, passed away on Tuesday, October 11, 2016, in Pearland, Texas. Beloved husband, father and grandfather, he is survived by his loving wife of 59 years, Linda Crowder Phillips; his only child and her husband, Toni and William Mackain-Bremner, of Pearland, Texas, and grandson, Coleman Schulenburg, of Ft. Collins, Colorado. Gary is also survived by his brother, James Phillips, of Southside; sister, Glenda Reynolds of Montgomery; brother-in-law, Freddie Crowder (Imogene), of Glencoe; nieces and nephews, Renae Boss, of Albertville, Steve Phillips (Julie), of Aiken, S.C., Greg Phillips (Glenda), of Birmingham, Dianne Patterson, of Titusville, Fla., Beth Rogers (Mike), of Weaver, Tanya Snyder, of Griffin, Ga., Jan Peevy (Carl), of Jacksonville, Joan Boggan (John), of Birmingham, Jeanette Mizzell (John), of Jacksonville, Shannon Yates (Heath), of Glencoe, Regina Luker (John), of Glencoe, and Kevin Crowder (Stacy), of Jacksonville; as well as numerous great-nieces and nephews. Gary is predeceased by his parents, Arvel and Emma Jo Gault Phillips and his parents-in law, Homer and Florence Kennedy Crowder. Born in Calhoun County on January 13, 1938 to Arvel and Jo Phillips, he attended Duke Elementary School and Alexandria High School, where he was elected 1955 Senior Class President. Shortly after graduation from high school, he met the love of his life, Linda Jo Crowder. They married in 1956 and settled in Gadsden and then Glencoe. Gary was a member of the first Apprenticeship Program at the Gadsden Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company plant. After retiring, Gary and Linda moved to Houston, Texas to be with their daughter, Toni, and grandson, Coleman. He loved nothing more than spending time with his family, being an exceptional Papa to his grandson, Coleman (he especially enjoyed listening to his grandson play the bagpipes), restoring cars, woodworking, and fellowship with his Brother Masons. One of his proudest moments was watching his grandson and the Saint Thomas Pipe Band win the North American Title in Montreal, Quebec. Gary and Linda moved back to Alabama two years ago, residing in Rainbow City. Gary was selected to Goodyear's "Top 10 Club" for supervisory excellence several times, retiring as Manager of Engineering after working for Goodyear for over 40 years. Gary and his brother, James, coached the Glencoe Pee Wee football team in the mid-60's - many players went on to play on the 1974 State Championship Glencoe High School football team. He served on the Board of the Gadsden Trade School, assisting in obtaining donations of machinery to their machine shop program by Goodyear. Gary was a member of C.F. Spencer Masonic Lodge #1384 AF & AM in Pearland, Texas; Duke Lodge #574 F & AM in Duke, Ala.; Past Patron of Pearland Chapter #1065, Order of the Eastern Star in Pearland, Texas. Gary supported the aspirations of his wife and daughter and respected everyone that he encountered. He was a gentleman - a man of his word that exemplified integrity, kindness, honesty, and fairness. A quiet man, he was always ready to assist others when needed. At this time we ask for prayers for the comfort of his family. We have lost a special father and grandfather, but are comforted that his continued love now watches over us forever. Funeral services are scheduled at Crestwood Funeral Home in Gadsden on Tuesday, October 18, 2016 at 1 p.m. Pallbearers will be Terry Boozer, Freddie Crowder, Kevin Crowder, Leon Gault, Greg Phillips and Edward Schulenburg. Honorary pallbearers are members of the Masonic Brotherhood in Texas and Alabama. The family would like to sincerely thank Glen and Cindy Cornelius, Shelton Phillips and Mike Sampson (Pearland, Texas) for their support and assistance. A special recognition to the members of Duke Lodge #574 and the Grand Lodge F & AM of Alabama for their aid during this tragic time. They exemplify what Free-Masonry stands for.
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