Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Obituary - J. Terrille Phillips

J. Terrille Phillips better known as “Terry” was born to J. Otto (Jack) and Neva Phillips in Mexico, Missouri March 1, 1935, and then moved Harrisonville. They then settled in Adrian Missouri., a 2 x 2 square mile town where his dad was the town pharmacist and owned Phillips Pharmacy, the only drug store and soda fountain shop. Terry attended elementary and high school with his younger brother Layn. They both were active with fishing, hunting, trapping, collecting comic books and coins. They both excelled in high school sports and Terry earned his Eagle Scout rank.

Both Terry and Layn graduated from “Mizzou” - University of Missouri and belonged to the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. It was always entertaining to hear their fraternity shenanigans. Both brothers spent their summers working in Rocky Mountain National Park, and both went into the army with the rank of second lieutenant after graduating.

Terry went to work for the Union Carbide Company in Chicago in 1958 as a Prestone Automotive Products salesperson. It was there he met his wife Marlene on a beach on Lake Michigan and were married 6 months later. They spent their honeymoon on Jenny Lake in Grand Teton National Park, where they learned of the news on their portable radio that Marilyn Monroe died. They had a deep true love for one another, and she was the object of his affection for 63 years.

Terry and Marlene started a family in Grand Rapids Michigan (where they had their first-born son J. Gregory) and then transferred to Indianapolis, St. Louis (where their first daughter Jennifer was born), back to Chicago (where their second daughter Heather was born), Cleveland, and then finally New York City. Terry bought their family home in Fairfield Connecticut and took the commuter train to the company headquarters at 270 Park Avenue New York City. Terry enjoyed tennis, paddle tennis and golf as a member of the Patterson Club in Fairfield CT.

In 1986, Union carbide sold its Home and Automotive Division as well as the Consumer Products Division, which ran the Energizer Battery Division. The new company was named First Brands Corporation; it became public on the NYSE in December 1989. The company prospered and was taken over by the Clorox Company in 1999. First Brands Corporation made its headquarters in Danbury, Connecticut where Terry commuted for the remainder of his career. Terry enjoyed this new driving commute on the beautiful Connecticut winding back country roads, especially in the fall.

Terry was the Vice President of International Marketing and helped market the products throughout the US, Canada, Mexico and nearly 100 countries in the world. His position afforded him the opportunity to travel throughout many countries. He often took Marlene with him and tied in vacation time as they traveled throughout Europe, Eastern Europe, Philippines, India, Tokyo, Bangkok, Burma, Thailand Malaysia, Singapore, and Hong Kong.

During his career Terry helped these brands with marketing efforts through auto and boat racing. Terry was involved with having STP sponsor its own Indy car racing team featuring Mario Andretti, the winner of the 1969 Indianapolis’s 500. He then was associated with stock car legend Richard Petty, who is still involved with the STP racing team to this day. Throughout his career Terry and Marlene also were able to experience being VIPs at the Indianapolis 500 and the Daytona 500 races.

In 1996 Terry retired, he loved his retirement just as much as he loved his work. Terry and Marlene continued world traveling to New Zealand, Australia, Alaska, St. Petersburg, and Europe. Terry always would comment that the United States was his favorite country for all its diversities of mountains, canyons, beaches, islands, forests and weather.

Terry and Marlene moved full time to the Bonita Bay in Bonita Springs, Florida, and joined the Bonita Bay Club in 1997. Marlene and Terry made Bonita Bay their home for the past 25 years where they enjoyed playing golf, going to the beach together every Sunday and socializing with new and old friends from Fairfield who also chose to retire in southwest Florida.

Terry passed away peacefully with his two daughters Jennifer and Heather holding his hand, his wife Marlene by his side, as well as his son in law Derek, and grandson Jacob. His son in law Joe and other two grandsons Dylan and Justin were able to call and check in and say “I love you” on speaker phone. Terry passed away hours before the hospital was to evacuate all visitors before Hurricane Ian started. Family believe he was watching over them to keep them safe while they were in the path of the storm and had to ride it out in their family home in Bonita Bay.

Terry is survived by his beloved wife Marlene Phillips, his daughter Jennifer Perry and husband Joe Perry, their twin boys Dylan and Justin (16) of Shark River Hills, New Jersey and his daughter Heather Hora and her husband Derek and their son Jacob of Victor Idaho (17) and nephews Michael and Terry Doran.

He is preceded in death by his parents Jack & Neva Phillips,; his brother Layn and his first-born son J. Gregory Phillips.

Sympathy cards can be sent to Marlene Phillips and family at 4220 Sanctuary Way, Bonita Springs, 34134. A celebration of life will be announced at a later date. Online condolences may be offered by visiting www.ShikanyFuneralHome.com.

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