"The life of the dead is placed in the memory of the living"
Marcus Tullius Cicero


Mr. Harold Donald Phillips, Sr.

Mr. Harold Donald Phillips, Sr.

Mr. Harold Donald Phillips, Sr., son of the late Homer Phillips and Alice Mae Riley was born July 4, 1925, in Burlington.   He is the third of five children. He attended Burlington Township Schools and graduated from Wilbur Watts High School in 1943.  At the age of 17, he enlisted and served in the first African American unit in the United States Marine Corps; the 51st Battalion at Montford Point in North Carolina.


During his service in the Marine Corps, Harold would correspond with Cynthia Anderson; through their letters, they fell in love.   Harold and Cynthia married and from their union they had three children, Harold Jr., Loray and Marla. 

Harold was employed by Progressive Life Insurance serving as staff manager for over 33 years.   Throughout his career, Harold and Cynthia traveled.  He loved to travel to various places including Mexico, Puerto Rico, Jamaica and the Bahamas.

One of Harold’s favorite past times included taking his family in his camper to go fishing. The family enjoyed fishing at Mystic Island, Barnegat Light, Long Beach Island and Martha’s Vineyard.  After many fishing trips, Harold would provide fish to elderly neighbors in the community.  He also would donate fish to the church for their annual Fish Fry.

Harold also enjoyed hunting and playing weekly card games with friends and family. 

Harold was a founder and chartered member of the Burlington County Lancers, where he served as Treasurer.  The organization’s mission was to raise funds to assist students in their educational pursuits.

At the age of 87, Harold was presented with the congressional medal of honor for his dedication and service in the United States Marine Corps 51st Battalion.

Preceding him in death is his loving bride of 73 years, Cynthia Mae Phillips and his son Harold Jr. Harold is lovingly survived by his two daughters, Loray A. Greene (Leonard), Marla W. Perry (Porter), sister, Bernice E. Turner of Burlington; nine grandchildren Shawn Phillips (Karleen), Aaron Phillips, April Ellerbee (Anthony), Leonard Greene, Emanuel Greene, Porter Perry (Brooke), Harold Perry, Christopher Perry (Sharese), Jamaal Perry (Haley); twelve great-grandchildren, Zachary Phillips, Christian Perry, Solomon Perry, Jaxon Perry, Emerson Perry, Ellison Perry, Isaiah Perry, Daniel Perry, Micah Perry, Mariah Ellerbee, Jordan Ellerbe, Amia Ellerbee and special cousin Tommy Belton and a host of family and friends. 

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