Eugene C. Phillips

Eugene Chandler Phillips, 94, of Falmouth, who leaves family in Bourne, died May 30 at JML Care Center in Falmouth. 

He was married to Justine D. (Dyer) Phillips for 60 years.

Born in Melrose to Eben and Grace (Welden) Phillips, he graduated from Newton High School. After three years of service in the US Army during World War II, he attended Brown University and earned a bachelor of arts degree in Latin with high honors in 1953. 

He also attended graduate school at Johns Hopkins University and earned his master of arts degree in Latin from the University of Michigan in 1955. 

Mr. Phillips and his wife then moved to Falmouth, where they lived up until the time of his death. He taught Latin for 30 years at Lawrence High School (later Falmouth High School), where he and his wife built the Latin studies program. As Julius Caesar, he presided over the annual Latin Banquet at the high school. He also led 14 student trips to Rome and Paris and was class advisor to many high school classes.

He was a regular fixture at many school sporting events, in particular, soccer, baseball, and basketball. He also coached JV boys’ soccer. 

Mr. Phillips also was the administrator of the Children’s School of Science in Woods Hole for 20 years. At the age of 93, he was honored for his dedication and service to the school. 

Apart from teaching, Mr. Phillips held many other jobs. He was a welder on ships during World War II. He was also a carpenter, Sunday School teacher, bartender, salesman, milkman, ditch-digger, professional Santa Claus, typist, boiler worker, janitor, gardener, chef, pharmacist, and a professional painter. He also worked on the dredge that widened the Cape Cod Canal, and enjoyed telling stories about the canal's history.

He enjoyed traveling with his wife. Together, they took numerous ocean liner trips. In 1995, they traveled around the world on the QE2, landing on every continent. 

Mr. Phillips and his wife also traveled across the country by car. They enjoyed visiting important historical sites and national parks, as well as their children and grandchildren. 

He was a Town Meeting member for many years and was the first chairman of the Falmouth Recreation Committee when the committee was formed in 1966. He was also steward at the Falmouth Yacht Club. 

He was a vestry member of St. Barnabas Church and joined in many church activities such as playing Santa Claus at the Christmas Bazaar, caroling on the Village Green, and participating in the Strawberry Festival. After retiring in 1986, he volunteered at the Falmouth Public Library and with the Falmouth Chamber of Commerce. He also drove people to medical appointments.

Mr. Phillips was a skilled cook and baker. He created many Sunday pot roast dinners and baked apple pies on holidays.

In addition to his wife, he leaves his children, Eugene Phillips Jr. and his wife, Gilda Phillips, of Plymouth, George Phillips of Attleboro, Alice Forrester of Nashville, Tennessee, Hannah Phillips of Pocasset, Mercy Grinold and her husband, Peter Grinold, of Rutland, Vermont, and Joshua Phillips and his wife, Kimberly Phillips, of Norwell. Mr. Phillips also leaves 16 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

He is predeceased by his grandson, Wilson Waters Forrester.

He was buried in a private ceremony in Truro, where he enjoyed walking the beach, swimming in the surf, fishing, and enjoying the salt air. 

A celebration honoring Mr. Phillips’s life will be held in Falmouth at a later date.

Donations in his memory may be made to the Eugene C. Phillips Scholarship Fund, Scholarship Association of Falmouth, PO Box 369, Falmouth, MA 02541. 

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  • marilyngzacks

    i remember Gene Phillips when I first met him as the Science School Director as always being upbeat, courteous, friendly and helpful. When he retired and volunteered at the library the same qualities were always part of who he was. It gave me great pleasure to listen to him talk about his travels and well-deserved fulfilling and active retirement. A gentleman of the "old school." Fondly remembered.