Robert "Bobby" D. Phillips passed away peacefully on Sunday, February 28 at his home in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Bobby was 83. Born in 1937, Bobby lived his entire life in Baton Rouge. In his grade school years, Bobby attended Riverside Military Academy in Gainesville, Florida, where he attained numerous honors and awards. He was awarded the highest military honor in his Junior School Unit. He was also promoted to Captain and commanded the entire unit. He was awarded Best Cadet and received the Gold Trophy for Sportsmanship. With much favor, Bobby returned to Baton Rouge for the beginning of his 8th grade year. Attending U-High from grades 8-12. While at U-High, Bobby participated in Hi-Y, was a Teen Sponsor, served on the Cub Business Staff and was a member of the Interclub Council. As for athletics, Bobby's football career started fast. Shortly after the first few days of fall practice as an 8th grader, Bobby was invited to play on the varsity team. He went on to star on the Offensive line grades 8-11th. Since in those days there was a 4-year limit on playing football, Bobby became part of the cheer squad his senior year so he could still travel and remain close to his team. Bobby also loved the outdoors, in particularly hunting, fishing, water skiing and fast boats. Bobby spent an entire summer with Hodges Gardens Waterski Team where he excelled in barefoot skiing. In 1954 Bobby won the Grand Isle Tarpon Rodeo and at the time his catch was the second largest in the history of the Tarpon Rodeo. This was quite a feat for a teenager and further fueled his love for fishing and the outdoors. Upon graduation from U-High, Bobby attended LSU and joined Kappa Alpha Fraternity. Shortly thereafter, the military life beckoned, and Bobby joined the United States Coast Guard where he served both active duty as well as in the Reserves. Bobby's hobby and passion for boats, in particular race boats, persisted and from 1959-1970 Bobby built and raced hydrofoil race boats. He traveled and raced in California, Ohio, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi and throughout Louisiana. Bobby parlayed his love for boats into several successful businesses. In 1959 he was a co-owner of Anchor Marine, which sold recreational boats and other sporting equipment. In 1967 he became VP of Custom Engines, building all types of engines including race boat engines for drivers throughout the US. In 1975, Bobby received both his real estate agent and Brokers license and started All American Reality, where he successfully developed multiple subdivisions and commercial properties including Santa Maria Development. Bobby was also instrumental in the development of the Golf course as well as the architectural review board for the Santa Maria neighborhood. Bobby was honored multiple times by the Baton Rouge Growth Coalition for his efforts at Santa Maria. In 1987 Bobby became a member of the Baton Rouge General Medical Center Board. Shortly thereafter, management asked him to take a lead role in the construction of the Baton Rouge General Medical Center on Bluebonnet Boulevard. He was involved in nearly every aspect of the multi-year development and when it opened in 1994, he was recognized for his tireless efforts in ensuring the success of the project. Bobby served on the Board of Directors for many years after as well. Rounding out other community involvements include: The Chapel on the Campus (Board of Trustees), Coastal Conservation Association, Ducks Unlimited Fundraiser Committee, Louisiana Power Boat Association and University Laboratory School Hall of Distinction. Lastly and certainly the most important characteristic Bobby possessed was his unequivocal love & dedication to his wife and family. Bobby's heart was as big as they come. He would do anything for his family as well as his friends. And he simply was the most dedicated father and grandfather any son or grandson could ever have. PERIOD! Bobby is survived by his adoring wife and best friend of 40 years, Elizabeth Bryant Phillips, his son Robert David Phillips, Jr. and his wife Dawn, his grandsons Robert David Phillips III, Webb McGehee Phillips and Christopher Paul Phillips, and his sisters Kasey Phillips and Helen P. Rankin and numerous cousins, nephews and one niece. He is preceded in death by his first wife Ann McGehee Phillips, his brother Hal Seth Phillips Jr., his mother Albertine Ellis Phillips, his father Hal Seth Phillips. Special thanks to Bobby's dedicated caregivers: Brian Sanford, LaTina Holiday, Elsie Plain, Irvinika Richard, Linda Richard, Jennifer Shropshire and Tameka Sterling. There will be a visitation on Thursday, March 4 at Rabenhorst Funeral Home, 825 Government Street in Baton Rouge Louisiana at 10:00am, followed by a Celebration of Life service at 11:30am.
Published in The Advocate from Mar. 2 to Mar. 4, 2021.