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Merl Truman Phillips | 94 | Eagleville, TN

Merl Truman Phillips, age 94, departed this life peacefully in his sleep, September 4, 2021, at his home in Eagleville, TN. He and his wife Geraldine “Gerry” were supported by Willowbrook Hospice.
Merl was born July 29, 1927, in Greene County, Illinois, the first child of Carl Truman and Osie Barbara Phillips. He was the oldest of four boys, including Floyd, dec. (Delta) of Bethalto, Carl (Wanda) of Murrayville, and Larry, dec. (Edie, dec.) of Berdan. He attended grade school in Berdan, IL and graduated from Carrollton High School, Carrollton, IL in 1945. He immediately left for Great Lakes Naval Base. He serviced in the Pacific as a cook on an oil tanker. He cooked on troop trains bringing soldiers returning from World War II from the West Coast to the Great Lakes Naval Base. He also served at Bainbridge, Maryland, during the Korean War.
He married Elinor Lea Morris, July 17, 1949, in Springfield, IL. They were introduced by his cousin, and her friend, Rosemary Camerer of White Hall, IL. Elinor died October 5, 1970. They are survived by three children – Barbara Lois Seep (Christopher) of Ballwin, MO; Carol Ann Dean (Barton) of Draper, Utah; and James Allen Phillips (Cathy, dec.) of Hemet, California; four grandchildren; and six greatgrandchildren.
After Elinor died, he moved to Arizona. In 1997, he married Gerry Klink, who survives him, along with her four children, Thomas Brishky (Betty), John Brishky (Amy), Karen Robledo (Jason), and Koko Brishky, eight grandchildren, and four greatgrandchildren. After retirement, they moved to Tennessee.
Merl spent most of his working life in the trucking industry, in Greene County, St. Louis, MO, and Tempe, AZ. He was very proud of his perfect driving record, especially while navigating the narrow alleys of downtown St. Louis. He retired from Roadway Trucking in AZ.
A celebration of life will be held at Berdan Baptist Church on October 16, 2021. Visitation will be at 1:30, with the service starting at 2 PM. There will be an opportunity for all to share memories. This will be followed by a burial service at White Hall Cemetery with a military salute to one of the last veterans of World War II.

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