Mr. Walter Daniel Phillips, 65, passed away suddenly in his residence on Sand Hill Drive, Tuesday, March 1, 2022. He was born Feb. 12, 1957, in Richmond, to Edward Turpin Phillips Jr. and Betty Joyce (Jamison) Phillips.
Dan graduated Cave Spring High School in Roanoke, Va., in 1975. He then attended Virginia Western College in Roanoke, earning an associate degree in social science. He transferred to Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va., studying agriculture with emphasis in horticulture. He had completed several courses and degrees during his naval career and with HII-Technical Solutions. In 1995 while attending Thomas Nelson Community College, he earned an associate degree in business administration. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in business administration specializing in management at St. Leo University in Fort Eustis, Va., in 1999.
Dan entered the military in 1982. He was a retired ISC (chief) in the U.S. Navy Reserves. During his naval career, he was also an auxiliary electrician and the submarine ship’s scuba diver for more than 20 years. He had been on the USS Birmingham (SSN 695) Pearl Harbor and numerous other boats. He was also a helmsman for nuclear submarines and was later attached to Seal Team 4 and 18 during the Gulf War in Iraq (al-Fallujah). One of his last naval jobs was as a senior officer of the Naval Special Warfare Intelligence Group (NSW). Dan was very proud to serve his country and was highly decorated with numerous conduct and service medals, ribbons, badges, and awards.
Daniel had such a drive and a meaningful work ethic.
He was later employed and worked for HII-Technical Solutions for 31 years as a project manager over the submarine configuration and supply support team. In this role, Dan led a team of 12 configuration managers and logisticians. Dan’s team managed the systems used to track the completion of ship modernizations where equipment and systems are modified to maintenance the ships throughout their life span. Dan served in this role until he retired in 2019.
After retirement, Dan, along with his wife Julie, moved to their home on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, where he had an abundance of interests and was multifaceted in many areas. He was an avid gardener, starting with grape vines which lead to a flourishing fruit tree orchard, assorted berries, and a vegetable garden. Canning, freezing, and drying would follow. He started beekeeping and built two hives and gave his honey to family, friends, and neighbors along with his jams and jellies. His flower garden was always in bloom from March until October which saved him a lot of money along the way! He wasn’t the type to remember to bring home flowers. That was a good thing since they were right outside his door. Julie always had what she needed, he made sure of that.
His favorite were the sunsets just over the tree line towards the Chesapeake Bay from the back yard, standing around the fire pit, perhaps with a glass of wine in hand, that he built before he and Julie got married. Dan always enjoyed doing and learning many things … the list is endless. He had a falcon that he would watch as it preyed upon the many song birds in his yard. He loved the birds, the falcon, and seeing an eagle was like seeing a shooting star. He and his wife always felt blessed to see the eagle. (Freedom.)
Last but far from least, Daniel loved the Lord his God with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his mind. He was a true and faithful follower.
Daniel is survived by his beloved wife, Julie Ann (O’Donnell) Phillips, of Cape Charles; his son, Aaron Christopher Phillips (Alyssa), of Gloucester, Va.; stepson, Phillip Markham Delsignore (Rachel), of Virginia Beach; grandson, Bradley Ryan Phillips, of Gloucester; mother-in-law, Ellen A. Moore, of Cape Charles; three brothers, David Miles Phillips, 71, (Karen), of Salem, Va., Robert Lewis Phillips, 69, (Ann), of Mechanicsville, Va., and Raymond Todd Phillips, 55, (Nancy), of Roanoke; and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, nephews, nieces, and great-nieces. He was preceded in death by his father, Edward Turpin Phillips; mother, Betty Joyce (Jamison) Phillips; his loving son, Matthew Steven Phillips; two brothers, E. T. Phillips III and Stuart Brillhart Phillips; and brother-in-law, Michael J. O’Donnell.
A memorial service will be Saturday, March 26, 2022, at 11 a.m., at Cape Charles Baptist Church, 501 Randolph Ave., Cape Charles, VA 23310, with Pastor Russell Goodrich officiating. A reception at the church will immediately follow.
He will be laid to rest Sunday, May 15, 2022, at 5 p.m., at Persinger Memorial Cemetery (Route 18 at Boiling Springs in Allegheny County). Graveside service will be held at that time with family and friends with Pastor Russell Goodrich officiating.
The family has requested in lieu of flowers that remembrances be made in the form of contributions to the American Diabetes Association, P.O. Box 7023, Merrifield, VA 22116-7023, in honor of Dan’s son who passed in 2016, or Cape Charles Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 3009, Cheriton, VA 23316, who provided spectacular assistance and care.
Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.doughtyfuneralhome.com
Arrangements are made by Wilkins-Doughty Funeral Home in Cape Charles.