Eugene “Fritz” Phillips, 80-years-old of East Orange, New Jersey, quietly departed this earthly life on July 26, 2017 at his residence in East Orange, New Jersey.
Fritz was born on February 21, 1937 in Clairton, PA to the late Clevester Phillips and the late Virginia Marshall-Phillips. In addition to being predeceased by his parents, he was also preceded in death by his stepmother, the late Madge Phillips, who raised him from the age of 3-years-old.
Fritz was married to Cleethel Phillips, who preceded him in death and, to this union, a son, Khaleif, was born. He was also preceded in death by his oldest daughter, Evonne Denise Phillips-Saunders, his sister Patricia Phillips, and his beloved life-long friend, Florence Rucker-McCant, with whom he shared three children, Evonne, Sandra and Maurice.
Fritz graduated from Clairton High School in 1955. He attended Gethsemane Church of God in Christ in Clairton, Pennsylvania, and later moved to New Jersey, where he converted to the Islamic faith and remained a faithful follower of the teachings of the Holy Koran. Through his faith, Eugene’s life espoused the notion that faith is foundational to true growth within the spirit and recognition of Allah. He believed that nothing in this world should be dearer to a true believer than faith, and that when practiced humbly, lovingly, and peacefully, that it would manifest healthy, scalable, committed and loving relationships with self, Allah, family and community.
He was self-employed as a Courier, operating out of East Orange, New Jersey and servicing the New York Metropolitan area for approximately 50 years. Over the years, he also owned and operated taxi cabs and he owned an on-call tire changing business for trucks.
Eugene is survived by his daughter, Sandra Phillips-Rucker of Atlanta, Georgia, his son, Khaleif Phillips, his daughter-in-law, Alfreda Phillips, of Newark, New Jersey; and his stepson, Maurice McCant of San Francisco, California; granddaughters Takiya Saunders and Fatisha Sanders; grandsons, El-Amin Sharif Saunders and Tajee Woodly; great-granddaughters Ameerah Evonne Spears and Sarai Sanders; great-grandson Josiah Sanders; three sisters: Eleanor Murtaza and Vesta Bivins, both of North Versailles, Pennsylvania, and Carolyn McFarland of West Mifflin, Pennsylvania; and one brother, Richard Franklin Phillips, also of West Mifflin, Pennsylvania; one remaining uncle, Eugene Marshall of Clairton, Pennsylvania; a special cousin, Marlene Bentley, of Detroit, Michigan; a nephew/honorary son Anthony Mayo of Trenton, New Jersey and many nieces, nephews, cousins, and other relatives and friends whom he loved dearly. We will all miss the wise counsel Fritz provided to his family regarding life lessons and health remedies using herbs and natural products. He will be sorely missed by all.
Friends will be received on Saturday from 11am-12 pm at the Robert A. Waters Funeral Home, Inc., 449 Mitchell Avenue, Clairton, Pennsylvania, where a memorial service will begin at 12 pm.
Interment will be private.
Arrangements entrusted to the Robert A. Waters Funeral Home, Inc., McKeesport, PA.
Originally published August 07, 2017.