Eugene M. Phillips

Eugene M. Phillips, age 81, of Panhandle, died on Friday, March 16, 2012.A Celebration of Life will be on Tuesday, March 21, 2012, at 2:00 p.m. at the First Christian Church, Panhandle, with the Rev. Mark Urquhart and grandson Zack Esgar officiating. Arrangements will be handled by Minton Chatwell Funeral Home.Mr. Phillips was born in Amarillo, Texas on November 24, 1930 to parents James C. and Ruth Phillips; moving to Borger, Texas the same year where he grew up, graduating from Borger High School in 1948.Mr. Phillips attended the University of Texas from 1948 to 1951 when his education was interrupted by a four year stint in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War. He completed his education in 1957 with a degree in business and finance.He married Elaine Cundiff of Canyon, Texas in Canyon on June 1, 1957.Mr. Phillips joined the First National Bank of Panhandle in 1961, advancing to president in 1968. He served as president and chairman until his retirement in 1996.Mr. Phillips was very active in banking and civic organizations. He served as Chairman of the 8th District of the Texas Banker’s Association and several TBA Committees. Mr. Phillips served on the board of the Independent Bankers Association of Texas and the board of the North Panhandle Banker’s Association. Mr. Phillips also served six years on the Board of Directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.In December of 1990, Texas Tech University and the Texas Bankers Association honored Mr. Phillips as the Outstanding Ag Banker of the year.Mr. Phillips was a past board member of the Panhandle Plains Historical Society, the Amarillo Area Foundation, the Panhandle Heritage Association, the Carson County Square House Museum and the Harrington Regional Medical Center. In conjunction with the First National Bank, he was recipient of the Amarillo Chamber of Commerce Golden Nail Aware in 1986. He is a past president of the Panhandle Rotary Club, the Panhandle Chamber of Commerce and a past chairman of the First Christian Church Board. In 1985, Mr. Phillips was named Panhandle Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the year.Mr. Phillips was preceded in death by a son David, a grandson Jay Patrick, a brother Jimmy Phillips, and his parents, Mr. J. C. and Ruth Phillips.Survivors include his wife Elaine; a daughter Julie Esgar and husband Dave of Wiley Co.; a daughter Marcia Lamberson of Lubbock; a son Robert Phillips and wife Susan of Clifton Tx.; a daughter in law Denise Winter and husband Mike of Panhandle. Granddaughters, Shea Reinhardt and husband Matt; Leah Manning and husband Zach; Bailley Lamberson; Mckinley Lamberson; Abby Phillips; and grandsons, Zack Esgar; Joseph Phillips; Austin Phillips; Holt Lamberson; Brock Lamberson; Alex Phillips; John Winter and David Winter. Three great grandchildren, Lylah Reinhardt, Royce Reinhardt, and Paisley Manning. One sister, Courtney Durham of Hammond, La.The family suggests memorials be made to the American Heart Association, First Christian Church of Panhandle, or your favorite charity.To send condolences, sign the online guestbook at