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Johnnie Phillips


Sunrise: August 6, 1927

Sunset: November 28, 2019

Johnnie Phillips (Bubba, Shorty, Pooloo, Papa) passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his family on November 28, 2019.

Johnnie Phillips, Sr. was born on August 6, 1927 in Lee County, Alabama.  He went on to marry the late Lillie Echols. From this union his children Lou Vonia (Elliott) Gould and Johnny Phillips were born. At the age of 25 Johnnie relocated to Syracuse, New York after a brief stay in Knoxville, Tennessee, and began working at Crouse-Hinds Iron Foundry. He met his current wife, Elsie Phillips, in 1971 and married in 1986. Johnnie happily stepped up and took on the father role of her three children Robert (Muriel) Brown, Anton (Tammy) Brown and Ivy Robinson. Miya (David) Bryant is the youngest of Johnnie’s children and the daughter he shares with Elsie.  Rolahac Phillips (Alberta) is his stepson.   Within this loving extended family Johnnie has many grandchildren, great-grandchildren and 1 great-great grandchild.

Johnnie is also survived by his youngest brother Adam (Mae) Phillips. He is preceded in death by his parents Rufus, Sr. and Gertha Phillips and siblings Rufus Phillips Jr., Willie Mae Taylor, Louise Island, Mary Blair and Robert Phillips. He also leaves a host of in-laws, nieces, nephews, cousins, foster children and two Goddaughters Carletta Rice and Iryonna Scruggs.  Although many have called him friend, James Stinson was truly his “Dog”. Johnnie made such a great impact on many young men and women in Syracuse they affectionately refer to him as Dad or Papa as well.

After he retired from Crouse-Hinds, Johnnie was not ready to sit. He began part-time employment with Brady Faith in Syracuse. He worked there for many years and subsequently retired from Brady Faith only to return to work the following Monday. This was following his retirement party, which included parting gifts. This was probably his favorite employment.

One of Johnnie’s fondest dreams was to own his own business. He realized part of that dream by working with family and friends some summer weekends selling barbecue, hot dogs and hamburgers at Cedar Grove. His barbecue got raved reviews by those in the Syracuse fortunate enough to know about Cedar Grove.

When not spending time on the grill at the house, Johnnie was usually found on the golf course or at the bowling alley. He enjoyed traveling and visiting family and friends. He was well known around Syracuse for his homemade “hog head cheese”. Although soft spoken Johnnie was quick to put a misguided child back on the right path. He took pride in his garden and enjoyed growing and tending to his flowers, fruits and vegetables.

Prior to relocating to Norfolk Virginia, December 2018, Johnnie was an active member of Tucker Missionary Baptist church, Syracuse New York, where he was a trustee and on the hospitality committee. Once situated in Norfolk he became a member of Friendship Baptist Church and its’ Senior Saints.

Viewing Friday, December 6, 2019 9:00am -11:00am Metropolitan Funeral Service 7246 Granby Street Norfolk, VA 23505 Service WATCH SERVICE LIVE ONLINE Friday, December 6, 2019 11:00am Metropolitan Funeral Service Granby Chapel Interment Woodlawn Memorial Gardens 6329 E Virginia Beach Boulevard Norfolk, VA 23502

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Condolences(9)

  1. reply
    Joseph & Mary N. Nelson says

    Our heartfelt sympathy to the family in the loss of such a kind and sincere man. Mr. Johnnie was a very nice and helpful person all the time that we’ve known him. May the family find peace and comfort during this time.

  2. reply
    Lee Jennings says

    So sorry to hear Uncle Shorty passed. He was a dear and close friend of my dad, Paul Burns and helped move me into my college dorm in 1992. The two of them spent a lot of time together. I am praying for your family. Sending love from my family to yours.

    • reply
      Margaret Felton Glenn says

      My deepest condolences to Elsie and family. Johnnie was loved and will be truly missed.

  3. reply
    Jeanette Sanders says

    Deepest sympathy to the Phillips family from the Sanders family. Your family was great friends of my parents Curtis and Elease Sanders. Wishing you comfort during this hard time and know that God is with you and will never leave you. Bless you all.

  4. reply
    George and Cheryl Green says

    Heartfelt prayers and sympathy to Elsie and family. We are blessed to have know and worked with Johnnie for many years. A man of integrity and character and we are blessed to have know him. May God’s peace and comfort surround you during this time.

  5. reply
    Alice, Andy, Tia, Ileana and AJ Bacon says

    On behalf of the Bacon family, we send deepest condolences to our family in Virginia. Uncle Johnny as he was so lovingly called will be sorely missed by all. We were so blessed to have shared a moment in time with him. As long as we hold and cherish his memory he will be gone only in flesh and not in our hearts.

  6. reply
    Jenny Penningston says

    Wish I could be there with you in person…my heart and love are there with you instead!💞💞

  7. reply
    Bridget Lawson says

    Sending my love and condolences to you all. I’m so sorry for your loss. May the Lord give you all the strength to get through this tough time❤

  8. reply
    "Billy C." Coleman says

    Elsie and Family.I am truly saddened by the news of Johnnie’s, “Shorty” passing. Shorty and I go back over 40 years ago when we worked together at Crouse-Hinds. We were involved with the dangerous work of melting and delivering molten iron metal at a temperature of 2850 + degrees F through out the foundry. We as well as others relied on one another to stay safe. One of our coworkers; Norman “Preacher” Manning coined me with the nickname “Billy C.” From then on Shorty always called me Billy C. We all had nicknames such as “Schnauzer” and “Porkchop.” Shorty and I played a lot of golf together. One time during a golf tournament, Shorty chipped a shot in for an “eagle” and later that day we won some money for that shot! Shorty witnessed my one and only “hole-in-one” back in October of 2006. After I hit the ball I turned to Shorty and asked, “where did the ball go?” Shorty replied, “Billy C, it went in the hole!” We always had a go time together. Over the years, Shorty and I stayed in touch by weekly telephone calls. I will miss those calls and I will miss Shorty. Though I will not be able to talk to or see Shorty anymore; Shorty will live in my heart forever. God bless him.

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