Thomas Langhorne "Tom" Phillips, 91, died on Monday, December 2, 2019, at his home in Hurt, Virginia. He was born on October 24, 1928, the son of Paul W. Phillips and Helen Arthur Phillips. After graduating from Rustburg High School, he went to UVA on a baseball scholarship. He remained at UVA for seven years, completing law school there. After graduating from law school, he returned to the Lynchburg area, where he practiced law for over 50 years. He genuinely loved the practice of law, which he regarded as a profession rather than merely a business. He felt that practicing law allowed him to help people, which gave him great satisfaction his whole life. He loved animals, including dogs, cats, cows, and, in his later years, miniature donkeys. He loved the outdoors and was an avid hunter and fisherman. He also loved to garden and raise cattle. He and his wife of 42 years, Betsy Board Phillips, had five children. His wife, Betsy; his son, William Jeffrey Phillips; his grandson, Nathan Neel; his brother, W. Clifton Phillips; and his sister, Pauline Sale predeceased him. In addition to his cat, Longtail, and his seven miniature donkeys, he is survived by his sister, Caroline Clark; his son, Thomas L. Phillips Jr. (Anita); his daughters, Betsy H. Phillips, Patti Phillips, and Haley Evans (David); five granddaughters, Hannah Mason, Savannah Evans (Josiah) Chandler Lawhorn (Cody), Sarah Phillips (Daniel Doute), and Lily Phillips; and multiple great-grandchildren. He was assisted during his final illness by three devoted caregivers, Marie Fitzgerald, Frances Jones and Carol Canternero. A memorial reception honoring his life will be held today, Thursday December 5, 2019 from 4 until 6 p.m. at Tharp Funeral Home, Lynchburg, Virginia. Tharp Funeral Home & Crematory, Lynchburg, is assisting the family. To send condolences please visit

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