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30-year furniture veteran and President of St. Louis Based Phillips Furniture and combat veteran of the Korean War Thomas E. Phillips Sr., died Friday (Dec. 10, 2010) at a his nursing home in University City. He was 81 years old.
He was the son of Percy Phillips, an entrepreneur who ran the old Phillips Mercantile Company in downtown Saint Louis, a railroad salvage company that opened in 1937. Mr. Phillips and his wife Marianne recently celebrated their 59th wedding anniversary.
After the Korean War, he worked at his father’s store until his dad retired in 1962 when he and his brother, Clinton took control of the business. That same year, the state of Missouri bought the downtown location for their new Hwy 40 project. The Phillips Brothers moved the company to its new location in St. Louis County 10525 Manchester Road in Kirkwood, where it is still presently. Today it is owned and operated by his family members. In 1976, the family members renamed the business Phillips Furniture. Mr. Phillips retired from the Phillips Furniture in 1992.
Mr. Phillips had quit smoking nearly 30 years ago and in November had been diagnosed with lung cancer that quickly turned fatal.
He is survived by his wife, four sons, 17 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Mr. Phillips Furniture spun off another well-known local furniture company, Weekends Only, owned by two of Mr. Phillips’ sons. Two other sons own and operate five local Ashley Furniture franchises.
Private Burial held at Bellefontaine Cemetery.
On a personal note we never met Mr. Philips or his family. We only knew him as an honorable businessman and a tough competitor. Our prayers and sympathy go out to his family and friends from our STL Beds Family.