Earl H. “Bud” Phillips


Earl H. Phillips-better known throughout his life as ‘Bud’-passed away peacefully on September 17, 2022 at his home of 37 years in Elizabethtown, IN. A loving husband, father, brother and friend, he grew up in Highland, IN, spent his college years in West Lafayette and Bloomington, IN, and has lived near Columbus, IN since 1985 with his late wife, Wendy Wilkins Phillips. They married August 18, 1974, welcomed children in 1983 and 1985, and he acted as her primary caretaker until she passed away in 2018. Immediate family members who will miss him dearly are his daughters, Kelly Phillips Badal of Los Angeles, CA and Kara Phillips Kopp of Wilmington, NC; his son-in-law, Tanveer Badal; and his adored grandchildren, Aria and Sahara Badal and Odella, Tallulah and Smith Kopp. His parents, Alice and Harrol Phillips of Highland, IN preceded him in death; he is survived by his three siblings, Janet Ross of Highland, IN; Susan Garvey of Chicago, IL, and Thomas Phillips of Denver, CO, as well as many beloved nieces and nephews.

Bud brimmed with passions throughout his life. Even after a cancer diagnosis in 2020, he overflowed with plans for objects he called “future artifacts” and a home workshop-ideas he worked on until his final days. His interests ranged from sci-fi and extraterrestrials to electronics, optics, fractals, music, geology, ancient civilizations, jewelry, art and more. He loved playing the guitar-electric preferred-and his mixed media artwork, much of it completed in the 1970s, featured ink drawings, layers of acetate and cut paper, paint and more. Later in life he experimented with lapidary practices and created colorful bismuth “crystals” via his own outdoor lab (“the farm,” he called it). Among his friends and family, he was known as a maker, inventor and natural engineer.

Bud spent the majority of working years in IT services for Columbus-founded Arvin Industries (later ArvinMeritor, Inc., Meritor, Inc, EMCON Technologies, and finally, Faurecia). During his retirement, Bud embarked on a solo road trip across the U.S., spent time with his daughters on both the East and West Coasts, celebrated his 70th birthday in Hawaii, and vacationed with a lifelong friend in New Mexico-a friend who was ultimately by his side when he passed away.

Memorial services will be held Sunday, Oct 2nd at Jewell-Rittman Family Funeral Home, 3855 25th Street, Columbus, IN 47203; with calling hours from 12-2pm, a 2pm service, then a graveside interment at Springer Cemetery immediately afterward. Condolences can be sent to Jewell-Rittman; donations in Bud’s name will honor the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Columbus, https://uucci.org/.