Sanford “Sam” Len Phillips, 63, passed away surrounded by his loving family on Friday, September 18th, 2020 at his home in Edgemoor, SC.
Sam was born on November 7th, 1956 in Sandusky, OH to the late John and Hazle (McClellan) Phillips.
Sam graduated from Sandusky High School in 1975, where he started dating his future wife, Patty, at age 15. He married Patty in 1977 and graduated from The Ohio State University in 1980 with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering. He began his career in 1980 in Chillicothe, OH as a Process Engineer with the Mead Corporation. He relocated to the Baton Rouge, LA area in 1994 after becoming the Senior Manager of Power and Utilities Operations at Georgia Pacific in Zachary, LA. He also worked at the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality for ten years, retiring in 2014 as Assistant Secretary of the Office of Environmental Services. Sam ultimately settled in the Charlotte, NC area in 2014 after accepting an opportunity with the Nucor Corporation as Corporate Environmental Manager.
Sam was always on the go between the job he loved at Nucor and his many passions outside his career. He taught himself how to do basically everything, from remodeling houses to growing tomatoes. He was an avid boating, shooting, and fishing enthusiast with an always-growing gun collection. He was a generous host and gourmet cook who took great joy in feeding people way too much. He loved endlessly tweaking recipes like his famous meatballs and homemade pasta, somehow managing to dirty every dish in the house in the process. He also loved college football, especially his beloved Buckeyes, but made room in his heart for his children’s LSU Tigers (except for in the 2007 National Championship game). He was a devoted husband to Patty for 43 years, and he knew exactly how lucky he was to have her. He was proudest of being a mentor, father, and PawPaw to his colleagues, children, and grandchildren. His family meant everything to him, and he was happiest whenever he was making memories with them.
Sam is survived by his wife, Patty (Fantozz) of Edgemoor, SC; son, Eric (Megan) of St. Francisville, LA; daughter, Kelly of Baton Rouge, LA; 2 grandchildren, Luke and James; sisters, Lori Gisewite of Columbus, OH and Pam Baramidze of Columbus, OH; brother-in-law Bobby (Debbie) Fantozz of Sandusky, OH; and mother-in-law Carol Fantozz of Sandusky, OH.
In addition to his parents, Sam is preceded in death by his brothers, Jerry Phillips and Franklin “Eugene” Phillips.
Visitation will be held on Saturday, September 26 at 11:00 A.M at Bass Cauthen Funeral Home, 700 Heckle Blvd, Rock Hill, SC with a memorial service to follow at 12:00 P.M. Please wear a mask and practice social distancing in respect of our friends and family.
For those who wish, memorial donations can be made to the Audubon Society In honor of Sam’s tenacious flock of hummingbirds that entertained him daily during his illness.
The family would like to extend their sincerest appreciation to Sam’s Nucor family, as well as everyone who has reached out to comfort the family during this difficult time.
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