PHILLIPS — Ernest W. Phillips, loving husband and father of four children, died of natural causes at home Tuesday, July 31, at the age of 90.

Ernest was born Dec. 20, 1927, in Mexico to Walter E. and Nettie (Jamison) Phillips. He graduated from Stephens High School in Rumford in 1945 as class president and then joined the Merchant Marines, serving nearly three years on four ships. On Oct. 22, 1949, he married Pearl W. Daye of Bethel.

Ernest is survived by his wife, Pearl; daughter Karen Blanchard Powers and Jim Powers of South Rumford; daughter Susan and Theron Clough of Hebron; son Duane and Laurie Phillips of Lafayette, Calif.; son Bruce and Sandy Anhorn-Phillips of Apex, N.C.; grandchildren Erin, Coleen, Sarah, David, Greg, Lisa and Anna; and great-grandchildren Riley, Collin, Jackson, Samuel, Jamison and Hallie.

He is also survived by his brother, Gordon, and Linda Phillips of South Rumford, and his sister, Lois Binette, of Peru. He was predeceased by a son-in-law, Daniel Blanchard.

Ernest spent nearly all his years in South Rumford, and identified closely with the hardworking family farmsteads along the Androscoggin River. He began working at the Rumford paper mill at 16, retiring in 1985 after 44 years in various factory and management positions. He had successful endeavors as a commercial real estate investor in Rumford, Auburn, Ohio and North Carolina. His greatest body of work was constructing, improving and maintaining his family home and grounds. Coming “home” will never be the same for his family.

In their retirement years, Ernest and Pearl were well-traveled, including England, Scotland, Norway, Belgium, France, Switzerland, Russia and Mexico, all 50 states and virtually every Canadian province. Ernest’s other passions included trips to PEI and enjoying seafood, horse racing, snowmobiling, Rumford High basketball and the Celtics, Red Sox and Patriots.

Friends are invited to sign the family guestbook and share their thoughts, condolences and fond memories online at

Ernest W. Phillips

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