In memory of Peller Phillips, Jr.
October 19, 1941-February 19, 2013
Peller Phillips, Jr. was born in Brewton, Alabama on October 19, 1941 to Myrtle and Peller Phillips. The family was part of the great migration of African-American southerners who left for the cities of the north, in their case Detroit. He was preceded in death by his parents, his sister Barbara and brother Ford. He is survived by siblings Dorothy, Tillis, Juanita (husband John), baby sister Linda and many cousins, nieces and nephews.
Peller’s young years were consumed by BASKETBALL which he absolutely loved. Dan Raley a former Seattle Post Intelligencer reporter stated in an article, “Phillips was a 5 foot 10 guard who hailed from Detroit’s Northwestern High School, someone with ball handling skills patterned and later pursued by the Harlem Globetrotters; so good, in fact, he was singled out in recent years as one of Detroit’s top 100 locally produced players, which is no small feat.”
Peller went to Coalinga Junior College in California on a basketball scholarship and then was recruited by Seattle University as a point guard. Also his basketball team competed in the NCAA Tournament. He went on to graduate from Seattle University.
Peller later met and married Deirdre Wisdom (husband Jeff). Their young, happy years were consumed with raising their four children, Lynn, Kim, Mark (wife Dionna) and Peller.
Peller worked a number of years at the Xerox Corp. He then went on to fulfill a lifelong dream, of owning his business, by opening a barbeque restaurant in the university district. The name of this restaurant was” Peller’s Open Pit Barbeque” which is remembered to this day.
He was a teacher and coach in the Seattle public schools district and was recognized as a gifted teacher. To this day he is fondly remembered by his former students and athletes. After leaving the school district he worked as an independent part time mortgage broker before retiring.
While teaching at Upward Bound one summer he met his future wife, Deena Fuller. They lost touch with one another and reconnected twelve years later. They were married in 2000. They concentrated on one another and strove to build a beautiful life together. Peller was a member of St. Clement of Rome Episcopal Church where he was famous for his “Holy Smoke” BBQ and sinfully delicious breakfasts!
Peller loved his families in Detroit, Seattle, his wife’s extended family and his many friends. In recent years he had reconnected with many of his Detroit buddies who were a great source of pleasure for him. He had so much love and high hopes for his grandchildren, Richie, Aeriell, Brandon, Markele, Schylar, Mark Jr., Myles and little Kayla. His constant companion was his cat, LeeLee. He was happiest when he was in his garden and at his computer, where he was writing a book about a Detroit sports legend.
Our hearts are broken but we thank God for the time we had with our wonderful brother, husband, father, Papa P and friend!
We wish to thank all of you who are surrounding us with so much love and support.
Deena Fuller and The Phillips Family
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to:
Young Detroit Builders
1627 W Lafayette Blvd
Detroit, MI 48216-1927