Dr. Ray Cook Phillips, 89, former president of Lebanon's Cumberland University died April 29 in Pensacola, Florida.
Born in Nashville, on September 17, 1922, he spent his early life in Watertown. He was preceded in death by his parents, Charles Robert and Alice Cook Phillips, and his brothers Charles Robert Whicher and Roy Wendell Phillips.
Survivors include: his wife of 64 years Phyllis Purnell Phillips; children Jim (MaryAnn); Gina (Bill) Murray, and Lisa (Bob) Ham; grandchildren David Whatley, Katherine Phillips, Will Murray and Jay Phillips; and great grandchildren Elizabeth and Jackson Whatley and Ava Phillips.
He received his education at Cumberland University, Millsaps College, Miami University (Ohio), Middle Tennessee State University, Peabody/Vanderbilt University, and Auburn University, where he received his doctorate.
He served as an officer in the Marine Corps during World War II and spent his adult life as an educator, serving as coach, principal, county school superintendent in Tennessee, and university professor at Auburn University, where he received numerous awards for his role in education throughout the state.
Upon retirement in 1982, he returned to Wilson County and became affiliated with Cumberland University, serving as Vice President for Academic Affairs 1983-86, Board of Trust 1986-91, and as President 1991-94.
Following his retirement as President, he was named President Emeritus and designated as Life Member of the Cumberland University Board of Trust. While still in good health, he made arrangements to donate his body to the Medical School of the University of South Alabama.
A memorial service in Lebanon will be announced at a later time. Memorial donations may be made to Cumberland University or a charity of your choice.
Arrangements entrusted to Rose Lawn Funeral Home of Gulf Breeze, Florida. You may offer condolences, share memories and sign the guestbook at: www.roselawn-fh.com