William Phillips

August 30, 1937 ~ May 24, 2022 (age 84)


William (Bill) David Ellsworth Phillips passed away on May 24, 2022, with Lewy Body Dementia and complications from a stroke. Bill was born on August 30, 1937, in Ystradgynlais, Wales, United Kingdom, the first-born son of the late Maggie May Griffiths and Walter Corbett Phillips. He is survived by his partner, Michele Boutaugh, ex-wife Hefina Phillips, sister Valerie Wilson Clark (husband Malcolm Clark), brother David Wynne Phillips, daughter Sian Phillips (husband Chris Frank), son Alun Phillips (wife Carolyn), and his four grandchildren, Alastair and Megan Frank and Rhys and Morgan Phillips. 

Bill obtained a degree in chemical engineering from the University of Swansea, was a Chartered (Professional) Engineer, and achieved a diploma in finance and accounting.  He started his career with British Petroleum (BP) Company in Neath, South Wales as a supervisory engineer at the Landarcy Oil Refinery, the first refinery in the U.K. Over the subsequent 35 years, he had progressively responsible experience in plant engineering, design, production, sales, marketing, strategic planning, information technology integration, and general management. He held positions as President, CEO, Director, Executive Vice President and General Manager at BP, United Carbide UK and Canada, Rhone-Poulenc, Harcros, and Norit Americas.

Bill’s employment led to relocations from Wales to England, Amsterdam, Scotland, and in 1981 to Toronto, Canada and in 1992 to Atlanta, GA. Bill was a citizen of the United Kingdom, Canada, and the U.S.

In 1984, he was an invited participant in a group of businessmen and politicians at a successful Economic Forum in China to expand trade. He served as the President of the Plastics Industry and Chemical Distribution Industry Trade Association and sat on the Board of St. Joseph’s Atlanta Hospital Foundation and the Chemistry Advisory Board of Kennesaw State College.

Bill was a long-time member of the Dunwoody United Methodist Church and sang as a tenor in the church choir for many years.  He also volunteered on many church projects including building Habitat for Humanity houses and mission trips to Brazil, Ghana, and Guatemala.

He was a former rugby player and continued to be a die-hard Wales rugby team fan, especially during the annual Six Nations Rugby competition when Wales played England. He also was an active member of the Atlanta Ski Club and continued to ski into his 80s. A former runner, Bill completed the Nanisivik Midnight Sun Marathon in the Arctic at age 50. He also trekked to the Mt. Everest base camp (elevation of 17,598 feet) at the age of 63 and achieved the summit of Kilimanjaro (19,340 feet) when 64.

Bill loved to travel and visited many wonderful places throughout his career and in retirement. In more recent years, in addition to continuing to visit family in Wales, England, and Canada, he journeyed with a church-sponsored tour to the Holy Land, cruised in the Caribbean and Mediterranean and on the Seine River from Paris to Normandy, hiked in the Dolomites in Italy and along the French Riviera, did safaris in South Africa and Botswana, visited Ecuador and the Galapagos, and vacationed in Bora Bora, Cancun, Kauai and Maui, the Canary Islands and Bruges, Belgium.

His Welsh roots remained strong. For many years, Bill was active with the St. David’s Society. Even though dementia eventually made it difficult for him to find his words, he continued to speak and sing in Welsh until the end of his life, a very moving experience to witness.

Bill was an educated, well-informed, intelligent man who could easily talk about current events and recall his favorite Shakespeare quotes. He was also an excellent orator, memorizing his speeches before delivering them. He had many positive attributes and will be remembered as a truly kind and charming man. He will be very much missed by his family and friends.

A Celebration of Life will be held on August 20, 2022, at 10:30 AM at Dunwoody United Methodist Church Chapel.  The family will receive friends after the service for a time of visitation.  Light refreshments will be served.

In lieu of flowers, please contribute to the Alzheimer’s Association or Lewy Body Dementia Association.

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Celebration of Life
August 20, 2022

10:30 AM to 11:30 AM
Dunwoody United Methodist Church Chapel
1548 Mt. Vernon Road
Dunwoody, GA 30338

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