Msgr. George M. Phillips, 96, died today, October 28, 2011 at St. Joseph’s Nursing Home in Ogdensburg after a long illness. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Wednesday, November 2, at 11 a.m. at St. Andrew’s Church, Norwood, with Most Reverend Terry R. LaValley, Bishop of Ogdensburg presiding, and with the priests of the diocese concelebrating. The homilist will be Rev. James Shurtleff, pastor of Notre Dame Church, Ogdensburg. Burial will be in Glenwood Cemetery in Watertown.
Reception of the body will be at St. Andrew’s Church, Norwood, on Tuesday, Nov. 1 at 5 p.m. followed by calling hours until 9 p.m. ending with night prayer. Calling hours will continue on Wednesday, from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Arrangements are with Buck Funeral Home, Norwood.
Msgr. Phillips was born in Watertown, on July 14, 1915. His parents were George W. Phillips and Susan Haley Phillips. Msgr. Phillips was preceded in death by his brother, A.M. Phillips and his sister Mary and her husband, Richard Guibord.
Msgr. Phillips was educated in the Watertown public schools until 1932 when he entered Wadhams Hall College as a seminarian. He completed his studies at St. Augustine’s Seminary in Toronto, Canada. On June 9, 1940 he was ordained a priest by Cardinal McGuigan at St. Michael’s Cathedral in Toronto.
Entering the Army in 1944 as a chaplain, Msgr. Phillips was assigned to the 97th Infantry Division and served in the European Theater of Operations in WW II. In the following years, his assignments included the U.S., Japan, Germany, France, Lebanon and Alaska. In December 1991 he was assigned as the Division Chaplain of the First Infantry Division at Fort Riley, Kansas. From there he retired from the Army in April, 1965. He was named Domestic Prelate (Msgr.) in July, 1967.
Upon his return to the Diocese of Ogdensburg he served as pastor of parishes in Peru, Massena, Mooers Forks, and Norwood. In 1970 he was appointed as Diocesan Consultor. Msgr. Phillips retired on June 9, 1990 after serving as a priest for fifty years. In May, 1995 Msgr. Phillips moved to New Mexico where he lived until October 2000 when he returned to reside in Ogdensburg.
He was a prolific and talented writer and wrote a number of books, the latest entitled, The Drummer Boy.
Mgrs. Phillips is survived by his dearly loved nieces and their families, Debbie and Kenneth Stay and Susan and John Pat node as well as Peter and Barrie Guibord.
The Buck Funeral Home in Norwood is serving the family of Msgr. George M. Phillips.