The Star Democrat - - LOCAL -

Al­bert Phillips

Sept. 12, 1926 — July 21, 2017

Al­bert Phillips — What about this lov­ing man? Lessons from Al­bert’s ap­pre­ci­a­tion of pop­u­lar po­etry in­formed those clos­est to him, as to his val­ues.

Abou Ben Ad­hem, “Write me as one that loves his fel­low man”

Frankie and Johnny, “They swore to be true to each other, As true as the AL­BERT stars above” PHILLIPS

Six­teen Tons, “Saint Pe­ter don’t you call me ‘ca­sue I can’t go, I owe my soul to the com­pany store”

Gunga Din, “The finest man I knew was our reg­i­men­tal bhisti, Gunga Din”

Casey at the Bat, “For Casey, mighty Casey, was ad­vanc­ing to the bat”

Al­bert grew up in Van­der­grift, a steel mill town north­east of Pitts­burgh. He was born to Sam, an im­mi­grant from Syria, and Mar­garet, a first-gen­er­a­tion Amer­i­can whose fam­ily came from Le­banon. Sam and Mar­garet had 10 chil­dren, and although the fam­ily greatly en­joyed each other’s com­pany, they were all to­gether for the first time in 1965 at a re­union at Al­bert and Jean’s home in An­napo­lis.

Dur­ing high school, Al­bert was per­suaded to go to the Univer­sity of Pitts­burgh, on schol­ar­ship, to play foot­ball. School was in­ter­rupted by WWII and a stint in the Navy. Upon re­turn, his coach, Clark Shaugh­nessy, vis­ited the fam­ily and con­vinced Al­bert to trans­fer to the Univer­sity of Mary­land, where two great love af­fairs be­gan — with his fu­ture wife Jean and with the Univer­sity. Al­bert was a foot­ball star at Mary­land and played in the first North/South All Star game. Grad­u­at­ing with an ac­count­ing de­gree, he de­vel­oped a great affin­ity for the univer­sity and the Terps sports teams, both of which he and Jean sup­ported all of their life.

Al­bert’s lov­ing re­la­tion­ship of 65 years, with his wife, Jean Eskridge Phillips, raised on a farm near Cam­bridge, Md., was the foun­da­tion for the great­ness of this man. They brought into this world seven chil­dren from 1950 to 1960 — Alan, Hol­lis, Byron, Gre­gory, Matthew, Pamela and Wayne. And then raised them to be suc­cess­ful, du­ti­ful cit­i­zens. Al­bert and Jean were very much a sup­port­ive, pos­i­tive team as they met the op­por­tu­ni­ties and chal­lenges of life.

In 1961, with seven young chil­dren and bor­rowed funds, Al­bert and Jean started Phillips Ma­chin­ery and Sup­ply, which ex­ists to­day as the global sup­plier of man­u­fac­tur­ing tech­nol­ogy, Phillips Cor­po­ra­tion. The busi­ness start was in ques­tion as Al­bert had no money nor as­sets and there­fore his busi­ness plan was re­jected at the lo­cal banks. The dad of Al­bert’s Univer­sity of Mary­land foot­ball room­mate’s wife, a lo­cal ar­ti­san who im­mi­grated from Italy, lent Al­bert $25,000 to start his busi­ness. Once started, Al­bert had to­tal con­fi­dence as to the suc­cess of his en­ter­prise — hav­ing a fam­ily of nine, pro­vided ne­ces­sity enough.

Three ma­jor life set­backs were the loss of his brother Sam in 1985, his son Byron in 2007 and the loss of his wife Jean in 2013.

Al­bert con­trib­uted much to the com­mu­nity be­yond the suc­cess of Phillips Cor­po­ra­tion and his en­gage­ment with the Univer­sity of Mary­land. He was the pres­i­dent of the Prince Ge­orge’s Ki­wa­nis, through which he de­vel­oped many life­long friend­ships. He was also pres­i­dent of the greater re­gion for Ki­wa­nis. He was a di­rec­tor of the Na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Arab Amer­i­cans. He had the op­por­tu­nity to visit the White House mul­ti­ple times to pro­vide ad­vice to Pres­i­dents Ford, Rea­gan and Bush Sr. He was quite proud of a pic­ture of him­self at the White House with Pres­i­dent Rea­gan and Frank Si­na­tra. He served on var­i­ous boards dur­ing his life and was chair­man of An­napo­lis Na­tional Bank.

In their later years, Al­bert and Jean resided in Cam­bridge, Md., where they con­nected with Jean’s fam­ily and de­vel­oped strong lov­ing re­la­tion­ships with a com­mu­nity of friends and sup­port­ers. Af­ter Jean’s pass­ing, this group in­cluded his close friend, Bon­nie Thor­ton.

Al­bert was the most op­por­tu­nity-ori­ented man imag­in­able. He loved life and lived it to the fullest. He used to say he planned to live for­ever; he al­most made it to 91. He passed away in the arms of his brother, Gabriel, on the early morn­ing of Fri­day the 21st, hav­ing been con­scious only mo­ments be­fore.

There will be a memo­rial ser­vice on Mon­day, Aug. 14, 11 a.m. at St. Mary Refuge of Sin­ners Catholic Church in Cam­bridge, Md., fol­lowed by a lun­cheon.

The Phillips fam­ily will ap­pre­ci­ate any char­i­ta­ble do­na­tions to Horn Point Lab­o­ra­to­ries (which is an oys­ter restora­tion fa­cil­ity), P.O. Box 775, Cam­bridge, MD 21613, checks payable to USM Foun­da­tion.

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