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THOMAS LEONARD PHILLIPS

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THOMAS LEONARD PHILLIPS Obituary
PHILLIPS, Thomas Leonard Died at his home in Weston, Massachusetts on January 9, 2019 a few months shy of his 95th birthday. Tom is survived by his four children and their spouses - Patty & Bob Fraser of Concord, MA, Bobbie & Dan Suratt of Wellesley, MA, Debbie Phillips & Lee Robertson of Rye, NY, and Tom Phillips & Ellen Hopkins of New York, NY. He will be dearly missed by his eleven grandchildren and twelve great-grandchildren. Tom was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 73 years, Gertrude Van Iderstine Phillips.

Tom achieved the pinnacle of business success as Chairman and CEO of Raytheon Company, where he spent his entire professional career. But he is remembered most by the legions of people he touched and influenced for his values and generosity, which have left a lasting legacy for his family. His family was preeminent in his life, and he loved bringing everyone together, providing experiences that created a lifetime of memories. In his last thirty years, he looked forward to frequent visits and calls as the family grew up and spread around the world.

Born in Istanbul to Greek parents, he emigrated with his sister and widowed mother to Canada in 1929 and then the U.S. in 1936. He was a poor kid from Mission Hill who excelled at the Boston Latin School, studied Electrical Engineering at Northeastern, and was called to serve in World War II, enrolling at Virginia Tech. He married Gert in 1944, had Patty while still in the Army, and Bobbie while still a graduate student. He distinguished himself in electrical engineering and was eventually recruited by Raytheon on a tip from his buddy John Goode. Tom spent his entire career at Raytheon, rising rapidly through the leadership ranks based on his intellect, discipline and integrity. He was always a modest man and liked to remind people that he got some breaks along the way, including the mentorship of T.C. Wisenbaker and Charles Francis Adams IV. He served as CEO from 1968 to his retirement in 1991, adding the Chairman title in 1973.

Tom served on the boards of many corporations and foundations, including John Hancock, Digital Equipment Corp, Knight Ridder, Mass General and the Joslin Diabetes Center, as well as Gordon College, where he endowed the Phillips Music Center in 2000. Tom was a devout Christian, and he believed deeply in the importance of faith in everyday life. He also believed in the value of a liberal arts education, and with Raytheon he endowed the Phillips Scholarship Fund at the Boston Latin School in 1992. For over forty years, Tom hosted monthly First Tuesday breakfasts, assembling local businesspeople and friends to develop personal and professional leadership in his Christian community.

A lifelong athlete, Tom grew up on the basketball court, was a formidable tennis player, a competitive squash player well into his sixties, and a devoted golfer in his later years. Through his nineties, he rode his stationary bike several times a day. His competitive drive in sports was undiminished to the end and played out in hourless games of Rummikub with children, caregivers, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Services will be held at the Trinitarian Congregational Church, 53 Cochituate Road, Wayland, MA, on Sunday, January 20, 2019 at 2:00pm.

In lieu of flowers, gifts in Tom's honor may be sent to the Phillips Scholarship Fund at the Boston Latin School. The website address is www.blsa.org (go to Giving/Donate and please note the Phillips Scholarship Fund in the comments box) and the mailing address is Boston Latin School Association, 27 School Street, Suite 300, Boston, MA 02108.

Arrangements entrusted to the care of the John C. Bryant Funeral Home of WAYLAND. For condolences please visit www.johncbryantfuneralhome.com
Published in The Boston Globe on Jan. 13, 2019
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