Melvin Kessler Phillips


Melvin Kessler Phillips, 81, of Columbus, died at 11:45 a.m. Sunday, December 24, 2017, at Hancock Regional Hospital in Greenfield.

Melvin was born July 15, 1936, in Madison, Indiana, the son of Kessler Edward and Ivy Arrena Cole Phillips. On August 16, 1955, he married Willanna Lorraine Hackett.

Mr. Phillips graduated from Madison High School in 1955. He then served in the United States Air Force. After 47 years of service at Cummins Engine Company, Melvin retired in 2004. In his spare time, he enjoyed playing euchre and gardening. Melvin will be best remembered for teaching his children the secret to a successful life: Integrity, Responsibility and Hard Work. He believed that if these three qualities existed in a person, then the rest of life would fall into place.

Mr. Phillips is survived by his wife of 62 years, Willanna; daughter, Debra Phillips of Henderson, Nevada; son, Mark (Pam Krugman) Phillips of Detroit, Michigan; stepsister, Verna Caldwell of Indiana; and nephew, Allen (Linda) Rea of Columbus, Indiana.

He was preceded in death by his parents; baby brother, Norman Phillips; and stepmother, Betty Tapscott Phillips.

The funeral will be conducted at noon Friday at Barkes, Weaver & Glick Funeral Home on Washington Street with Dr. Daniel Cash officiating. Family and friends may call from 10:30 a.m. until service time Friday at the funeral home. Military honors will be presented by the Bartholomew County Honor Guard.

Burial will be at Dupont Cemetery, Dupont, Indiana.

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society.

Online condolences and special memories may be shared with the Phillips family and a video tribute may be viewed at