Jan. 7, 1961 — Aug. 16, 2012
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Friday, Aug. 24, for Neil Harold Phillips Jr. of Patterson, who died the evening of Thursday, Aug. 16, in a tragic car accident. Those who knew him often said he lived for God and his family. His quiet and gentle personality, combined with his strength and smile, made him an incredible man.
Mr. Phillips, 51, was born in Modesto and raised in Patterson. He was a fifth-generation Californian and lived on the land originally owned by his great-grandparents. He attended St. Stanislaus Parish School and Central Catholic High School. He graduated from University of California, Davis, with a Bachelor of Science degree in plant science and a master’s degree in integrated pest management.
During college, he married his sweetheart, Stacy Fields, and one year later they settled down in Patterson where they raised their five children. Mr. Phillips joined his father in the field of agriculture as an agronomist & pest control advisor where many valued his technical expertise in the field. Most recently, he handled corporate accounts as a Territory Sales Manager. His passion and dedication to continued education were well respected throughout the industry.
Mr. Phillips was an active parishioner at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church and served on the Parish Finance Council and as a member of the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults Team. He enjoyed attending the traditional Latin Rite Mass on Sundays with his family and praying with the Opus Dei Men’s group. He believed in the sanctity of human life and especially defended the unborn.
Mr. Philips was a strong supporter of Catholic education and enjoyed participating in the development of Central Catholic High School as a member of the school board. He was also an avid hunter and enjoyed spending time outdoors. He loved to play basketball with family and friends after enjoying a meal prepared by his beloved wife.
Mr. Phillips is survived by the love of his life and bride of 29 years, Stacy Phillips. He is also survived by his five children: Lauren O’Brien (and her husband, Joe, and their children Grace and Joseph), Kelly Flynn (and her husband, John, and their son, Jackson), and his sons, Michael, David, and James Phillips. He is survived by his beloved brother, Samuel Phillips (and his wife Nitzi) and his sisters, Cindy Georgette and Susan Foreman and their families.
The viewing will be from 4 to 6 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 23, at Salas Brothers. Funeral Chapel, 419 Scenic Drive, Modesto. A rosary will be recited at 7 p.m. that evening at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, 1813 Oakdale Road, Modesto. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 24, at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, 1813 Oakdale Rd. Modesto.
Instead of flowers, gifts in memory of Neil H. Phillips Jr. may be directed to a college fund established for the younger sons by family and friends (contact Tammy Menezes for details at firstname.lastname@example.org).
Micah 6:8 “You have been told, O man, what is good, and what the Lord requires of you: Only to do the right and to love goodness and to walk humbly with your God.”