Mr. Arnold Louis Phillips’s Obituary

Remembering Arnold Phillips September 20, 1926 - May 19, 2004

“I’m better now that I’ve seen you,” was just one of Arnold’s favorite spirit-lifting sayings. And certainly we were all better after having seen and known Arnold (aka Goody). Born September 20, 1926 to Harry and Reba Phillips, he was the sixth of seven sons and one daughter. Throughout his life, Arnold was known for making the proverbial lemonade out of lemons – an excellently trained chef, by the way. As an example of his talent for finding the good in all situations, when a childhood illness required him to reside at the Children’s Seashore Home, he befriended his future wife, Elizabeth (aka Betty) Isabel Hill, also a child resident. At Pennell Elementary School, he was a serious student regarding his studies but was also very popular and jovial among his peers. Arnold continued his education through the Philadelphia public school system and received a high school diploma. He furthered his studies through classes in law and in medicine at Temple University.

Arnold talked frequently about his early adulthood adventures. His life was accented with vitality and enthusiasm. He told of the rigors and low pay of playing first-base man on the Negro Baseball League’s Zulu Warriors team and others. He often reminisced about being in Calcutta, India, while dutifully serving in the armed forces during World War II. He was honorably discharged and decorated with the victory ribbon. Upon his return from the Army in 1948, Arnold and Betty eloped. Though, he became a widower in June 1980, Betty’s family had already embraced Arnold as a full-fledged son and brother-in-love. Beverly Arnollda, born in 1950, is their only child. And Arnold was an exceptionally loving, protective, generous, supportive and inspirational father.

Also during Arnold’s vivid and active life, he worked as a federal government employee and enjoyed fishing excursions with his daughter and family. ‘Cutting a rug’ at dancing, professionally boxing, cooking, looking dapper and making others happy were among the things that brought sincere joy to his life.

Unfortunately, his ambulatory activity came to a halt in 1964, when a drunken driver’s hit threw him eight feet in the air, as he attempted to cross the street one morning on his way to work. A brain injury, and subsequent left-side paralysis resulted from the accident. However, this barely slowed down ole Goody! Though his physical condition required nursing home care, Arnold portrayed true joie de vivre. He became active in his nursing home community and was repeatedly elected president of their Resident Council for approximately ten years. He served on the board of directors of the Center for Advocacy for the Rights and Interests of the Elderly (CARIE) also for approximately ten years. Last year he received CARIE’s esteemed Inspiration Award, presented to him by Mr. Daniel Yoffee (twin brother of Arnold’s very close friend and brother-in-spirit, Allan Yoffee, also deceased). Other highlights in Arnold’s life, arranged by good friends such as Allan Yoffee and Lisa and Jerry Riddle respectively, were chatting with and receiving an autographed basketball from Dr. Julius Irving, and a backstage meeting with his favorite of the Three Tenors, Pavarotti. He also proudly served as a consultant to the University of Pennsylvania research team regarding issues that impact the elderly.

What clearly supported Arnold through his medical trials and tribulations, including a stint with prostate cancer, were his profound religious beliefs and practices. Arnold made friends and built community with almost everyone with whom he came in contact. His religious community consisted of many friends from St. Marks. He also had an ongoing and stalwartly spiritual connection with, among others, Sister Dunlap. Together and through prayer it seemed that they could move mountains for whomever they prayed. And through the years many people called on Arnold to intercede with prayer for themselves, friends and loved ones.

On May 19, 2004, Arnold’s longstanding struggle against pain and suffering, about which he virtually never complained (“I may have cancer, but cancer doesn’t have me!”), mercifully ended. Surrounded by his daughter, Beverly and his daughter in spirit, Lisa, and guided by Chaplin Yaffa-Shira Sultan, who regarded Arnold as an especially dear and loving spirit, he “crossed over.” He is survived by and will be immeasurably missed by his daughter, Dr. Beverly Phillips-White, and granddaughter, Saran White. His loving sister, Reba & brother-in-law, The Reverend Isaac Ryder, as well as his sisters-in-law, Lucille Phillips, Elizabeth Phillips and Doris Phillips, also survive him. Other existing family members include his mother-in-law & in-love, Mrs. Eugenia Hill and his brothers and sisters in law & in-love, Dr. Aubrey & Mrs. Eugenia Whitt, Mrs. Jacqueline Guynn, Mr. Alan & Mrs. Meryl Thompson, Mr. James & Mrs. Renee Powers, Mr. Norman & Mrs. Kaye Hill, Mr. Gordon & Dr. Karen Jones, Ms. Lynda Hill, and Ms. Deborah Hill, along with numerous nephews and nieces.

The family thanks everyone for their kind expressions of sympathy and condolence and requests that, instead of flowers, donations are made in Arnold’s name to the following organizations: CARIE, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church of Philadelphia, the American Red Cross and the Chaplaincy of Albert Einstein Medical Center.

The family of Alan R. Yoffee congratulates Arnold Phillips

Daniel Yoffee, Alan's twin brother, was honored to be a surprise presenter of the C.A.R.I.E., (The Center for Advocacy and Interests of the Elderly) board inspiration award to Arnold Phillips, a longtime C.A.R.I.E. board member, at their 25th anniversary luncheon in May of 2003.  Pictured C.A.R.I.E. executive director Diane Menio, Arnold and Daniel Yoffee.


About Arnold & Alan

Alan's association with CARIE began in July 1983 when he became a nursing home visitor to Arnold at Rittenhouse nursing home in Philadelphia.  The organization first became aware of Alan's public relations capabilities after he arranged a special event involving basketball star "Julius 'Dr. J" Irving and Arnold.  After finding out that Arnold liked "Dr. J" he arranged to have "Dr. J" present Arnold with an autographed 76ers basketball.  A picture was taken of the Alan, "Dr. J" and Arnold along with some of the nursing home staff.

In 1984 CARIE asked Alan to publicize the Philadelphia Nursing Home Residents' Week Celebration.  The event was covered by two TV stations and three radio stations.  Velma Goode, Philadelphia's first lady and the Philly Phanatic made appearances.  He also assisted in future years.

Alan regularly helped Arnold take care of personal chores during regular visits.  Alan would arrange transportation for Arnold to see some of the shows that Alan would publicize. 


Nights are long since you went away.
I think about you all through the day.
My Buddy---My Buddy
No buddy quite so true

Miss your voice the touch of your hand
Just long to know that you understand
My buddy, my buddy
Your buddy misses you

Read by Arnold at Alan's memorial service