Mr. George Custis Phillips Jr., 84, loving husband of Josephine “Judy” Phillips and a resident of Onancock, passed away Friday, May 19, 2023, with his family by his side. Born Jan. 31, 1939, in Onley, he was the son of the late George Custis “Cut” Phillips Sr. and Olga Brittingham Phillips, owners of The Pastry Shop in Onancock.
George was raised in Onancock and graduated from Onancock High School, class of 1957. Following high school he enlisted in the United States Army, during which time he worked in food service, cooking and baking for his fellow soldiers stateside and abroad. It was during his last post in Texas that he met his soulmate, Judy, to whom he was married on May 27, 1961. That same year he completed the baker’s program at Dunwoody College of Technology in Minneapolis, Minn., and returned to the Shore, where he worked and later owned The Pastry Shop for many years. Later, he served as the cook and baker for Navy sailors at Wallops, and in 1997 was hired as head baker for Walmart in Pocomoke City, Md., transferring to the Onley location in 2012, where he remained until retirement.
Though devoted to his career, family always came first for George, with fishing a close second. He and Judy raised five children, all of whom grew up knowing how to bait a line and reel in a catch, a passion he continued to share with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Having joined the Eastern Shore Anglers Club in 1963, George’s longstanding commitment to the club and his community will be forever remembered by generations of Eastern Shore anglers. He served as a director of the club for 57 continuous years, served two terms as president, organized monthly outings for decades, never missed their annual youth day outings, and seamlessly ran their club-sponsored fall fishing tournament, the Onancock Bay Challenge. Of course, George also racked up an impressive number of awards, citations, and magazine recognitions, and he still holds several records. Though he was proud of his achievements, George’s greatest successes were celebrated when witnessing the joy and excitement of a child’s first catch or a fellow angler weighing in their prize fish.
In addition to his wife of 62 years, he is survived by his children, Patricia Borufsen and her husband, Dewey, of Parksley, Robert J. “Bobby” Phillips of Schooner Bay, Va., Emily Phillips and her fiancé, Rudy Webster, of Bloxom, and Dani Bowen and her fiancé, Donnie Tyler, of Parksley; sister, Donna Phillips Roache and her fiancé, Leo Chandler, of Onancock; grandchildren, Alison P. Sapp (Justin), Joanne P. Carman (Josh), and Logan Sterling; great-grandchildren, Myles Sapp and Gabbi, Leighton, and James Carman; and niece and nephew, Holly Jones and John Cut Roache, as well as their families. Other than his parents, George was predeceased by his daughter, Diana Phillips Atkinson.
Funeral services were conducted from the chapel of the Williams-Onancock Funeral Home on Wednesday, May 24, 2023, at 11 a.m., with the Reverend Russell Fail officiating. Interment, with military honors, followed in the Fairview Lawn Cemetery. The family received friends at the funeral home on Tuesday, May 23, 2023, from 5 until 7 p.m.
In honor of George’s lifelong passion for fishing, please honor his memory by casting a line with friends, participating in local tournaments, and most importantly, taking the time to teach our youth how to be Eastern Shore anglers.
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Arrangements were by the Williams-Onancock Funeral Home.