Martin Phillips

Martin J. "Marty" Phillips

June 5, 1952 - December 18, 2019
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Martin J. Phillips, 67, of Pittsfield, a retired vice principal of Wahconah Regional High School and a prominent athlete during his early years at Pittsfield and Taconic High Schools, died suddenly on Wednesday, December 18th.

Marty, who this year celebrated 37 years of marriage to Ann (O’Brien) Phillips, was born in Pittsfield on June 5, 1952, son of the late George and Eugenie (Formel) Phillips. Marty and Ann thoroughly enjoyed their retirement together, traveling throughout Europe, spending a month each winter in Myrtle Beach, playing pickleball and cruising Onota Lake on their pontoon boat. But their most cherished moments of all were spent with their grandchildren Madeline and Deacon White, along with their daughter Kate (Phillips) White and her husband Michael of Boxford, and their son Christopher and his girlfriend Audrey Jones of Sterling.

Marty spent 31 years at Wahconah, starting as an industrial technology teacher in 1981 and serving as vice principal from 2002 through 2012, a period of major change in public education. “Marty was the rudder. The stability emanated from him,” said his successor and now principal of Wahconah, Aaron Robb.

Marty was an assertive, even strict vice principal, but was always consistent, fair and supportive of every student’s unique needs, said Robb. “He was a great believer in hands-on learning.” As serious as he was, Marty also was known by colleagues for his clever sense of humor behind the scenes. “Some of the funniest moments and biggest laughs we ever had were with him.”

Marty was a serious athlete his entire life, particularly in basketball. He was the star center of the Taconic Braves during his senior year in 1970, the first graduating class of that school. He also played at Husson College in Bangor, Maine. While his son Chris was growing up, he coached youth basketball for many years at the Boy and Girls Club, a place he considered home since his own childhood. Marty delivered for UPS and served in the U.S. Army Reserves for several years before going on to earn his bachelor’s degree in industrial technology education from Fitchburg State and a master’s degree in education from Lesley College.

Marty was an avid golfer, but was never satisfied with his own performance, even with his hole-in-one a few years ago. He played regular rounds with his best golf buddies as soon as the snow cleared. Marty hand-built his own home in west Pittsfield and was a talented woodworker. He was a self-taught guitarist, but only played for family. He was a voracious follower of current events, with CNN on constantly; his bedtime reading was the Washington Post. In recent years, he researched the Phillips Family genealogy in far too much detail! For friends and family close to him, he will always be remembered for his detailed storytelling, recalling people, places and events vividly.

A devoted husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend, Marty will be deeply missed by many. Besides his wife, children and grandchildren, he is survived by three brothers, Anthony and his wife Maureen Smith, of Medford, and George and Christopher of Pittsfield; a sister, Rosanne Phillips and her husband Michael Rodman of Wakefield; his mother-in-law Lucille O’Brien of Pittsfield, and many beloved nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by two siblings, Mary and Paul Phillips, and a niece, Alison (Stanton) Dumont.

FUNERAL NOTICE: Calling hours will be held Sunday, December 22, 2019 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at DERY FUNERAL HOME, 54 Bradford St., Pittsfield. A Liturgy of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m., Monday at St. Joseph’s Church in Pittsfield, celebrated by Rev. Msgr. Michael Shershanovich. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his name to the Boys & Girls Club of Pittsfield, in care of the funeral home.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    December 22, 2019 | 2:00pm - 5:00pm
    December 22, 2019 2:00pm - 5:00pm
    Dery Funeral Home
    54 Bradford Street
    PITTSFIELD, MA 01201
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    December 23, 2019 | 10:00am
    December 23, 2019 10:00am
    St. Joseph Church
    North Street
    PITTSFIELD, MA 01201
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Heartfelt Sympathies Store

Posted at 08:14am
Sending our deepest sympathies. With love, Aimee, Jeff, James and William
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Flowers were purchased for the family of Martin Phillips.


Kristine Lassiter

Posted at 01:21pm
My deepest sympathy to your entire family. Praying for healing, strength, sanity and peace during this devastating time. I love you all.
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A memorial tree was planted in the memory of Martin Phillips — Plant a Tree Now

Love, Lia

Posted at 10:28am
Chris, our deepest sympathy for your loss.
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Love, Lia purchased flowers and planted a memorial tree for the family of Martin Phillips.


Terri Stiffler

Posted at 05:28am
Dear Ann and family,
I’m so deeply saddened to hear about your loss. Marty was such a great guy. My thoughts and prayers go out to all of you.
Very sincerely,
Terri Stiffler

Bunny Best Proof

Posted at 11:47pm
I remember “Mr. P” well. He had an innate ability to make a not-so-cool teen feel welcome. He was a constant, humorous force that made even the worst of days, bright. My sincerest condolences to his family...the world lost a quality person, but we gained an angel. Bunny “Pinky” Best Proof, WRHS ‘88

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