Fred F. Phillips

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Fred F. Phillips, 89, of Siluria died March 20, 2006, at Shelby Baptist Medical Center in Alabaster. He was preceded in death by his wife of 60 years, Frances Walker Phillips, and his son, Frederick F. Phillips Jr. His parents were the late Mr. and Mrs. J.T. Phillips of Siluria.

He is survived by his sons, Tom Phillips of Birmingham and David Phillips of Alabaster; grandchildren, Frederick Scott Phillips of Birmingham, Carol Frances Phillips Fails of Nashville, Tenn., Helen Phillips Dean of Chelsea and John Phillips of Chelsea; and great-grandchildren, Hannah Dean of Chelsea and Eli and Garth Fails of Nashville, Tenn.

He was a graduate of the Darlington School of Rome, Ga., and the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Ga., and spent most of his career in the textile manufacturing industry. He was president and later, chairman, of Buck Creek Cotton Mills from 1939 to 1973 when the mills were all sold under the name of Buck Creek Industries Inc.

Phillips&8217; father, Sen. J.T. Phillips, moved his family from Gastonia, N.C., to Siluria in 1928 when he took over management of Buck Creek Cotton Mills for the Thompson family and by 1938 became its owner and was active in the business until his death in 1961.

Buck Creek Cotton Mills was an industry leader in napped cotton flannels and in later years was known for making rugs and carpets and supplies for the carpet industry. He established his own sales offices in New York City for the mills and created one of the first distribution centers in Dalton, Ga., for supplies of yarns and cotton backings to the carpet industry.

Phillips grew this business from one mill in 1960 to nine mills and more than 1,000 employees at its peak and the family sold the business to the Sperry and Hutchinson Company in 1973. He built Valley Mills, which acted as one of the leading plants of the Buck Creek chain, in Columbiana in 1947.

In his early career, he was active in the Young Presidents Association, served as president of the Alabama Textile Manufacturers Association, was active in the Georgia Textile Manufacturers Association and the Tuffed Textile Manufacturers Association, later known as the Carpet and Rug Institute.

Following his retirement from the textile industry, he acted as investment counselor and was a stockbroker in Birmingham, associated with Calton and Associates of Tampa, Fla., for many years.

He was active in the Atlanta Athletic Club and the Cherokee Club of Atlanta, Ga., and was once active in the Vestavia Country Club and The Club in Birmingham.

He was a lifetime supporter of The Eye Foundation Hospital, The Darlington School and Siluria Baptist Church.

He and his father were active supporters of the Masons, the Shriners, Thompson High School and various charities in the Birmingham area.

In recent years, he was active in the Alabaster-Pelham Rotary Club and Siluria Baptist Church. Members of both served as honorary pallbearers.

Visitation was March 22 from 7-8:30 p.m. at Southern Heritage Funeral Home. Service was March 23 at 2 p.m. at Elmwood Cemetery. The family requests memorial donations be made to Siluria Baptist Church of Alabaster or The Darlington School in Rome, Ga