Danny Phillips, age 68, of Hamlet, NC died on Saturday, Jan. 7th, 2023 at Richmond Co. Hospice Haven. Danny was born in Boston, Mass on May 3rd, 1954 to John F. (Jack) Phillips and Geraldine (Gerry) Muse Phillips. Dan ingested lead based paint as a toddler as he was teething. He began experiencing seizures and was not expected to live. By God's grace and medical miracles, he survived, but with significant cognitive disabilities/mental retardation. He resided in a State Hospital outside of Boston, Mass for many of his formative years until 1967 when he was reunited with his family in Hollywood, Fla. He attended Sundial School in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. which was one of the first public schools to provide educational services to children with disabilities prior to Public Law 94-142 being passed by Congress in 1975. Public Law 94-142 is the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. This piece of legislation is a United States federal law that is responsible for governing how states and various public agencies provide early intervention, special education, and other related services to children with disabilities. In spite of his delays and other life traumas, Dan lived a long and full life.
Dan was an active participant in the NC Special Olympics. He won several gold medals for bowling and track & field events. He also enjoyed making latch-hook rugs and giving them away after he completed one. He counted the days until his birthday every year and looked forward to receiving a birthday card from one of his brothers with a dollar bill in it. He thought he was rich. Danny was also an avid Carolina Panther's fan. He loved watching them play even when they lost and stuck with "His team" even after his favorite quarterback was traded (Cam Newton). Christmas was a close second holiday for Dan. If he got Panther gear, he was thrilled. He loved to write on a yellow legal pad with a red pen. He didn't want a white pad, it had to be yellow. And, he had his horoscope read to him every day.
Danny was predeceased by his mother, Gerry Muse Phillips and his brother and sister-in-law, Doug and Debbie Phillips. He is survived by his father, John F. (Jack) Phillips of Carthage, NC; his sister, Dovie Phillips Thole (Will) of Charlotte, NC; his brother David Phillips (Roseanne) of Etowah, NC; and his brother, Dean Phillips (Stephanie) of Green Mountain, NC. Dan had many nieces, nephews, and grand nieces and nephews including Brianna Brizo-Phillips, age 4, who said "his Mama is waiting for him" when she learned of his imminent passing.
The Phillips family is very thankful for Rita Rape-Kerr and her husband Dennis who cared for Danny in their home in Hamlet, NC for the past 12 years. Rita was Danny's Mama 2." She and Dennis loved him as one of their own. His room was Panther's Blue. He especially loved going camping and on cruises with them.
The family requests donations to the Richmond County, NC Special Olympics in lieu of flowers.
No services are planned at this time.
Pugh-Troy Funeral Home is serving the family of Danny Phillips.