OBITUARY: Wendell Earl Phillips, 66

WILMINGTON, MA — Wendell Earl Phillips, November 19, 1949 ~ November 15, 2016, 66, of Wilmington and of Ormond Beach, FL., went home to be with the Lord after suffering the complications of a brain hemorrhage. Recipient of Purple Heart, Viet Nam 1969.

Wendell was born and raised in Wilmington, MA, the youngest son of the late Wendell E. Phillips and Anne Marie Phillips. He attended Wilmington High School, and at the age of 18 joined the Marines and was deployed to Vietnam, where he served his country proud. While in Vietnam, Wendell was part of a unit that underwent severe casualties, and was the only survivor of his company. He sustained major injuries and was awarded the Purple Heart for his bravery. Though his physical wounds would heal, the emotional scars of his experiences overseas would remain. Following a tour in Vietnam, he entered the trades and became a skilled iron worker, the pinnacle of his career a job constructing Boston’s now-famous landmark, the Zakim Bridge.

A man of many talents and interests, he also trained as a chef, and as a hairdresser, and would often use his talents at family gatherings, whether in the kitchen or around the barber’s chair. After retiring from the workforce, Wendell enjoyed riding his motorcycle, playing poker, and traveling. His favorite destinations were Las Vegas and Costa Rica. He settled in Ormond Beach, FL, to enjoy the sunshine.

Wendell, who went by his middle name “Earl” for many years, loved life and was always drawn to the water, spending many a sunny day at Silver Lake in Wilmington. Always a bit precocious, as a youngster he would often go out to play and not return until well after his mother Anne began yelling his name (ER-ALLLLLll!!) from the back door loud enough for all to hear, except for Earl! Once he was so naughty his older sisters had to tie him to chair to keep him out of trouble but even that did not deter his mischievous streak. As he grew older, Wendell became an avid athlete and sports fan, taking part in hockey, tennis and golf, a sport he would continue to play and love until his last days. A handsome guy, Wendell had a twinkle in his eye that often kept him out of trouble. He also had a contagious laugh and fantastic sense of humor. Even in his last days, often semi-conscious, he kept nurses, visitors and callers smiling and laughing. Wendell was able to say good-bye to many a friend and family member over the phone, and he smiled as he heard each loved-one talk to him. He knew he was loved by all.

Fast-talking and quick-witted, Wendell was much loved by friends, siblings and late mother, as well as a favorite uncle to several nieces and nephews, all of whom adored his playful smile, funny stories, and frank, off-the-cuff, style of conversation. Wendell is survived by his wife Kimberly; brother Robert; sisters Patricia, Judith and Arlene, and brother-in-law Steve. He is also survived by his Aunt Helen, several nieces and nephews, cousins, and loyal friends who stood by him for many years. While in FL, Wendell became “extended family” of his landlords Barry and Faye, who treated him like a brother.

Wendell’s life and service will be honored and remembered with a Military funeral at The National Cemetery, Connery Ave, Bourne, MA 02532, on Friday, December 2, 2016 at 12:30 p.m. sharp. A luncheon will follow at Mezza Luna, 253 Main St, Buzzards Bay, MA 02532.

Wendell Earl Phillips

(NOTE: The above obituary is from

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