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Graham Albert Phillips Jr.
Graham Albert Phillips Jr.

WALLACE – Graham Albert Phillips Jr., 83, of Wallace, North Carolina, died peacefully on Sept. 13, 2016 at the Lower Cape Fear Hospice Center.

He was born May 18, 1933, to the late Graham and Virginia Phillips of Warsaw, North Carolina.

He is survived by his wife of 20 years, Sandra Zibelin Phillips and four daughters, Sylvia P. Jurgensen (Scott) of Raleigh, Mary Susan Phillips of Topsail, Jane Sykes Bowden (Edwin) of Wilmington, and Virginia P. Strickland (Bryan) of Raleigh. Two stepsons are John Macfie and Jason Payne. Five grandchildren and one great grandson are Catherine Currin, Hunter Sykes (Margaret), Hayden Sykes, Peyton Strickland and Lawson Strickland, and James Waylon Sykes. Graham also leaves behind his sisters, Betty P. Leak (Frank) and Lillie Mae Midyette, as well as brother-in-law Gary Zibelin (Keven).

He grew up in Warsaw and graduated from Grainger High School in Kinston. He attended Wake Forest University (’55) and Wake Forest Law School (’58), and was a Demon Deacon basketball player. He was in the US Army and the National Guard during which time the Wallace Armory was built under his command.

He was an active member of the Wallace Baptist Church for over 30 years, served as Sunday School teacher, deacon, and committee member, then attended the Wallace Presbyterian Church for the last 20 years. Graham practiced law for two years in Kinston before moving in 1960 to Wallace, where he practiced law for over 55 years.

He was a member of the Duplin County School Board for 20 years where he served as chairman. He was active in local and state economic development, Wallace 100 Committee, and served on the North Carolina Economic Development Board under Governor James Hunt. He was awarded the prestigious Order of the Long Leaf Pine. Graham vigorously recruited school principals and coaches to the Wallace area schools. He was an avid W-RH Bulldog Booster and cared about the community’s youth. Of all of his accomplishments, Graham most loved his four girls who he affectionately referred to as Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Graham’s commanding presence, humor and love for his family and community will be missed.

The memorial service will be held on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016 at the First Baptist Church of Wallace at 11 a.m. The family will receive friends immediately following the memorial service in the church fellowship hall.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Wallace-Rose Hill High School Boosters Club, PO Box 1060, Wallace, NC 28466 or Lower Cape Fear Hospice Foundation, 1414 Physicians Drive, Wilmington, NC 28401.

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