Edward Phillips, 95
It is with deep sadness that we say farewell to our beloved father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, Edward Perry Phillips. His spirit and kind being touched the hearts of many who knew him, enjoyed his humor, and his love for Block Island.
Born on Feb. 5, 1924 in New York City, Ned was raised by his parents, Lawrence and Marion, in New York and Southport, Conn. He attended St. Bernard’s School in New York City, and Avon Old Farms and Loomis in Connecticut. His college years at Trinity College were shortened when he enlisted in the U.S. Army along with his beloved brother during the early years of World War II; serving in France and Belgium with the 320th Engineers Division; leading him behind enemy lines to cut off the German retreat. Soon after his return from war, Ned married Dawn Louise Ives Brindle from New York City, San Francisco, and New Canaan, Conn.
His love for acting brought their young family to Skaneateles, New York, where he pursued an acting career in the summer stock theater, continuing at the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York City, and a later move to Los Angeles, California where his career in advertising began.
Within year, and on a whim as the family grew, they moved to Honolulu, Hawaii, where they lived for four years on a stretch of white sand beach in the tiny Hawaiian village of Waimanalo. It was here where Ned was happiest. His career in advertising for the Honolulu Star Bulletin prepared him for their eventual move back to Southport, Conn., and his daily commute to Madison Avenue in New York City, where he began a storied career as an advertising executive with Family Circle magazine and The New York Times organization.
His longing for island life eventually brought him to Block Island, where in the late 1960s he purchased land on the southeast side of the island and the old Barber Shop in Old Harbor. The Glass Onion was soon established in its place and his summer weekends were spent on the island happily away from the city, stocking the shelves with exotica he found from his travels as far afield as Morocco and Mexico.
He purchased the former Shamrock Hotel on the hill above the harbor, and was inspired by his wife to establish a space for island artists and galleries, leading to his construction of the Post Office.
Ned was married for 66 years to his wife, Dawn, who predeceased him in 2011. Their mutual love for travel and adventurous lives together led them to places of great beauty around the world. It was their curiosity and spirit that inspired us all.
His lifelong dedication to his family was profound and everlasting. His four children, Brook Phillips Lacour, Edward Perry Phillips Jr., Julie Phillips Warburton, and Jeffrey Taunter Phillips join hearts with their children and spouses; Geoffrey and Ashley Lacour, Mary Anderson-Phillips, Nicolas Ives and Julien Brindle Phillips, Barclay Harding Warburton, Daniele and Lil Warburton Benatoff, Heather Phillips Warburton, Gregory Edward and Perry Clifton Phillips; as well as his young great-grandchildren, Nicolo Harding and Matteo Hunter Benatoff.
We miss you, dear kind man, but know you are reunited in joy with our mother. Baseball season won’t be the same without you. With love forever after.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to the Block Island Medical Center Box 919, B.I., R.I 02807. A celebration will be announced soon.