Robert S. Phillips - Naples, FL

    Attorney Robert S. Phillips, of Naples FL and formerly of Hopedale MA, died on December 27, 2010
    at age 88. He was under the care of Vista Hospice, Physicians Regional Hospital, Naples with family
    and friends by his side.

    Atty. Phillips was born in Milford MA, the son of Architect Wendell T. Phillips and Eva M. (Smith)
    Phillips. He graduated from St. Marys High School in 1940, Holy Cross College in 1944 and Boston
    University Law School in 1946. He was admitted to the Massachusetts Bar on April 9, 1947 and
    practiced law in Milford for over fifty years.

    Atty. Phillips was a member and Past President of the Milford Bar Association; President, Director
    and Greens Chairman of the Hopedale Country Club; Founder, President and Counsel of the Milford
    Area Mental Health Association (later absorbed into the State Mental Health Association); Chairman
    and member of the Hopedale School Committee (1959-1971); Class Agent and Bequest Chairman
    of the Holy Cross Class of 1944; Town Counsel for the Town of Hopedale; Founder and Chairman of
    the Hopedale Democratic Town Committee. He was a Delegate to several Democratic State
    Conventions, along with his late wife Joyce. In high school, he was on the varsity baseball and
    basketball teams, as well as the debate team that won the Bishop O'Leary Cup in 1940, which gave
    St. Marys High School permanent possession of the award. He was also a member of the American
    Legion Powers Post 59 baseball team.

    Over the years, Atty. Phillips represented many developers in planning, zoning and leasing matters.
    He was Counsel and Trustee of the Abel L. Papelian and the Santoian Realty Trusts, developers
    and owners of Milfords first shopping plaza.

    In 1972, Atty. Phillips was appointed by the Selectmen as Town Counsel for the Town of Hopedale. It
    was a time of turmoil as Rockwell Corporation had taken over the assets of the Draper Corporation,
    was closing the factory and divesting themselves of all their municipal and civic functions, as well as
    their significant real estate holdings, including the land upon which the golf course sat.

    Atty. Phillips conceived and got all parties to agree to a plan to save Hopedale Country Club for its
    members. Rockwell and the Country Club would donate the land and the improvements to the Town
    of Hopedale, which then leased back the property to the members of the Country Club on a long-
    term basis at favorable terms. There was no cost to any of the parties and Atty. Phillips did all the
    legal and tax work required without any charges.

    Another civic accomplishment he took great pride in was establishing housing for the elderly after
    two hotly contested town meeting votes. The Hopedale Housing Authority subsequently constructed
    elderly housing units in the center of Town as a result. As Town Counsel, he also wrote the
    amendments to the Towns Zoning Bylaws allowing construction of the Laurelwood condominium
    development off of Mill Street.

    Atty. Phillips wrote briefs and successfully argued two cases before the Massachusetts Supreme
    Judicial Court on appeals from Worcester Superior Court trials. In the first case, Bertonazzi Buick, he
    gained reversal of an adverse ruling from the lower court; on the second case, Alves vs. Hayes et al,
    the SJC upheld a previous favorable decision. In a notable case, in 1950, he and his law partner
    Maurice E. Fitzgerald represented Harold Ward of Mendon, who had been indicted for murder of the
    Mendon Chief of Police, as well as a patron in a shooting at the Red Rooster in Mendon. Mr. Ward
    was found innocent by reason of insanity, spent many years in facilities for treatment of his disorder
    and was eventually released back to the community.

    Atty. Phillips is survived by his two sons: Robert S. Phillips Jr. of West Newbury MA and Dr. Michael L.
    Phillips of Warwick RI. He also leaves three grandsons: Andrew, Donald and Robert Phillips, as well
    as four nephews: Donald, Wendell, Paul and Brian Phillips.

    Atty. Phillips was preceded in death by his wife of sixty years, Joyce E. (Copp) Phillips, a retired
    principal of Milford High School. Also by his five brothers: S/SGT Wendell T. Phillips Jr. of the 8th Air
    Force killed in WW II, Donald F. Phillips, Paul R. Phillips, Richard L. Phillips and Charles J. Phillips,
    all of Milford.

    Following cremation, a Memorial Mass will be held at Sacred Heart Church in Hopedale MA at a time
    to be announced. Internment will follow in the family plot at St. Marys Cemetery in Milford. Funeral
    arrangements are under the direction of the Edwards Memorial Funeral Home, 44 Congress Street,
    Milford. Please visit www.edwardsmemorialfuneralhome.com for obituary & condolence book.

    A donation in Bobs memory may be made to the Milford Regional Medical Center, 14 Prospect
    Street, Milford MA 01757 or at www.milfordregional.org . WMRCDailyNews.com


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