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Foster Phillips

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Foster Maxwell Phillips

1925 - 2013 BRATTLEBORO Foster Maxwell Phillips died at home in Brewster, Mass., on April 23, 2013.

Born in Puebla, Mexico, to missionary parents, Harry Augustus Philips and Ellen Ramsay Phillips, on Nove. 20, 1925, he resided in Mexico until the age of six, when the family then settled in the United States in Laredo, Texas.

As a young person, he excelled in marksmanship, music (playing the trombone) and in football. He finished his high school studies early with the aid of his mother, who tutored him in a number of subjects.

He then enlisted in the Marine Corps, rising to the rank of Captain. He saw action in the South Pacific in World War II and also later, for several years, during the Korean conflict. Following World War II, he finished his college education, graduating from Yale University in 1948.

While attending Yale, he met his wife, Ann Snyder Phillips, then a nursing student at Mary Hitchcock School of Nursing in Hanover, N.H., and married, also in 1948.

Following graduation, and following the Korean War, he worked as a sales manager for Revere Copper and Brass. In the early 1960's, feeling the "call" to religion, he enrolled at Andover Newton Seminary, obtaining his theological degree. He served as the assistant minister at First Church - Congregational, in Nashua, N.H., and later moved with his family to Orleans, Mass., taking a position as minister at the Federated Church.

He left the ministry in 1969 and returned to sales, serving as a manager of the Nashua Corporation in the Latin American division. His fluency in the Spanish language, his native tongue, served him well in this capacity. He obtained a master's degree in Texas in the field of business, specializing in multicultural communication, further enhancing his skills.

He lived with his second wife, Nancy Phillips, for a number of years in Mexico City before "retiring" to Brewster, Mass., where together, they started an import and retail sales business called "La Bodega," focusing on Latin American imports.

In his later years, he enjoyed his involvement in his church, First Parish Brewster Unitarian Universalist, his many friends and social groups there, and tinkering with his Model "A" automobile.

He was active for many years in Veterans for Peace, befriending activist Brian Wilson and serving as a translator for Sandinista, Daniel Ortega, in efforts to bring peace to that conflict in the 1980's. He donated his beloved trombone to the Sandinista Army Band. He was committed to peace. Despite his effective military service and career, he regretted the violence with which he had been involved, and, at the end of his life, said that he asked for forgiveness each day.

He is survived by his first wife, Ann S. Phillips, of Orleans, Mass.; and their children, William F. Phillips, of West Windsor, Vt., and his partner, Martha Hunt, Stephen R. Phillips, of Brattleboro,and his wife, Sara Warner Phillips, Mark A. Phillips, of Plainville, Mass., and his wife Kathleen Phillips, and Susan C. Ebbs, of Dover, Mass., and her husband, Michael Ebbs, and 10 grandchildren, Simon, Tessa, Sam, Zachary, Matthew, Hannah, Catherine, Seth, Brian and Ben.

He is also survived by his second wife, Nancy Phillips, of Brewster, Mass., and her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren .

Memorial contributions may be made in his name to Veterans For Peace, of Saint Louis, Mo.

A memorial service will be held at a later date on Cape Cod.
Published in Brattleboro Reformer on Apr. 29, 2013
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