Alice Cornelia Cannon Phillips was commissioned to come to earth on Tuesday, May 2, 1948, to much delight of her parents, Rufus Cannon, Sr. and Cornelius Deal Cannon. Alice, along with her three eldest siblings, Rufus,
Effie and Doris enjoyed the humility and hard work that came with being reared on a farm in the Whitehall Community. Her dedication and strength was recognized even in her early childhood when she would walk three miles a day to a one-room school house in Whitehall to receive her primary education. She eventually left Whitehall and enrolled in Promised Land Elementary School in 1954 and was now able to ride the bus with her peers. Forever committed from the seventh grade until her graduation from Greenwood High School, she never missed a day of school.
While still a young teenager, Alice captured the attention of a classmate, Lawrence Phillips. Their inseparable time and fond love for one another eventually led to their holy matrimony. To this sacred union were born three children, Yvette Maria, ViTina Collete and Travis Andre. Alice never remarried after Lawrence’s untimely demise in 1971 while serving in the Vietnam War. Even though now a young widow, she ensured that all three of her children attended
college and even furthered her education. In 1973 Alice earned an associate’s degree in accounting from Piedmont Technical College. This accomplishment motivated Alice to go even further, completing her Bachelor of Arts degree in business in 1975 from Lander College (University). Always challenging herself to do more, Alice enrolled into the Masters in Human Resources Development program at Clemson University and finished in 1995, twenty years after her completing her Bachelors. In 1996 she graduated from Leadership Greenwood. Piedmont Technical College was not only Alice’s alma mater, but a place she worked tirelessly for 34 years. In 1974 she started working as a part-time clerk in the business office. Her work ethic did not go unnoticed and led to her promotion to full-time employment in the business office. She later became the manager of the business office and then the manager of the finance office. During her tenure, she received numerous awards, including The Presidential Medallion, by former president, Dr. Lex Walters for her outstanding service to the college in 2006. This award is the college’s highest honor and one she cherished even after her retirement, March 31, 2008.
“Service to All Mankind”, the motto of
her beloved sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., (which she was a life member and Silver Star) was something
she truly lived by and exemplified through her many community organizations. Including the Iota Upsilon Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha of which she served as the treasurer and chairperson for the chapter’s annual fundraiser. This also allowed her to sisterly commune and serve as a mentor at Brewer
Middle School on a weekly basis. Alpha Kappa Alpha thought it not robbery to acknowledge her allegiance and bestow upon her The Louise Parker Award for Community Service and Soror of the Year.
Service didn’t stop with her sorority.
For more than 35 years Alice has been a crusader for military widow’s benefits through the Golden Star Wives of America, Inc. Her stalwart attitude to ensure that these women’ s voices were heard led her to serve as South East Regional
Vice-President, national secretary and board member of the organization. American Legion Auxiliary Post 224 was yet again a place where you could find her lending a helping hand for the last 30 years. She greatly enjoyed spearheading the annual Easter Egg Hunt and Halloween Festivity for the community children through Post 224. Her peers thought it only appropriate to make her the auxiliary president, a position she took with great humility.
Brewer High School was very dear to Alice’s heart and proven through her dedication to the Brewer Alumni Association and honorary member of the class of 1966. Also, the benefits of retirees and seniors were also a cause of hers. This became ever evident in her service to the Greenwood Chapter of the AARP, which she served as the First-Vice President of the chapter. Understanding the severity of mental health and trying to eradicate the stigma within the African-American
community, Alice served as a member and treasurer of the Greenwood Mental Health Association. Her commitment to her family, education, career and community was only an outward display of her intimate relationship with Jesus Christ and her discipleship. Her love for the church and its work
began early at St. Vaughnville Baptist Church. In the early 90s, through much prayer and consecration she changed her membership to Second Damascus Baptist Church under the leadership of the Reverend Harry Mansel. She was a yielded
vessel at Second Damascus serving in numerous capacities including: Youth Choir Advisor, Church Transportation Coordinator,
financial secretary, and Sunday School Superintendent. Church commitments didn’t cease at Second Damascus, but extended into the Baptist Association. These positions included: former treasurer of the Congress of Christian Education(made up of 37 area churches); former secretary of the Little River Union #2 for four years (made up of 20 area churches); and former Treasurer of the
Little River Association. Her greatest joy was in advocating for the Little River Multicultural Complex Center. She also served as the board treasurer. In her golden years, she spent her time
with her family, friends and church. She loved to travel nationally and internationally. Her family was her life and they loved her as much as she loved them. Her willingness to help anyone and her genuine love to see everyone do better is what drove her.
In God’s infinite wisdom, he saw fit to
call this soldier from labor to reward on March 27, 2014.
She leaves to cherish her memories, treasure her love and continue her legacy her beloved grandson, Darren L. Jones II; Children Maria (Steve) Martin, Tina Jones and Travis Phillips; grandchildren Brittany A. Phillips, Dominique L. Jones, Marissa A. Martin, Marisha A. Martin, Alexis Makins, and Steffon D. Martin; Great-Grandchild Journee S.Crawford; companion Marshall Turner; Siblings Rufus (Annie Bell) Cannon, Effie Mae White and Doris Cannon; Aunts Mary Cannon and Ida Gilchrist; loving sister-in-law Sara Phillips; brother-in-laws Tony (Sonya) Phillips, and Randy (Linda) Phillips; Gaurdian Children & Grandchilden Irisha (Tommy) Washington, Carol Frazier , Demetria (John)Thomas, Roderick Prince, Whitney Freeman and Anari Holloway; a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and relatives.
Services and viewing are as follows:
Monday, March 31, 2014, Public viewing will be at Percival Tompkins Funeral Home from 10am until 2pm after which time she will be moved to the Little River Multicultural Complex where Mrs. Phillips will lie in state from 4 until 8pm with commemoration services beginning at 6PM.
Funeral services will be held 11:00AM Tuesday April 1, 2014 at Mt Zion Baptist Church Coronaca, SC with Rev. Darren Jones, Sr.officiating with Rev Annette Edwards Presiding.
Mrs. Phillips lie in state at Mt Zion Baptist Church from 9:00 - 11:00 AM.
Pallbearers will be Randy Phillips, Tony Phillips, Stacy Phillips, Al Gilchrist, Jamar Crawford and Steve Martin.
Flower bearers will be Iota Epsilon Omega Chapter of AKA Sorority, Inc.
Honorary escort will be Legionaries of American Legion Post #224, Women’s Auxiliary Unit #224 and and Brewer High School Class of 1966.
Those individuals wishing to make donations her memory are to make checks payable to the The Little River Multicultural Complex 415 Riley Road, Hodges, SC 29653
The family is at the home of her granddaughter , Dominique Jones 311 Orchard Drive, Greenwood.