Joe B. Phillips
Joe B. Phillips (March 11, 1925 - January 24, 2012) was a Realtor from Lubbock, Texas, who was a pioneer in the development of the Republican Party in West Texas and an active figure in his later years in the pro-life movement.
Phillips was born in Temple in Bell County in Central Texas, to J. A. Phillips and the former Kate Hooker, but he was reared in Lubbock, where he graduated in 1942 from Lubbock High School. He studied animal husbandry at Texas Tech University until his education was interrupted by United States Army service in World War II in the Pacific Theater of Operations. Released from the military, he wed the former Mary Frances Crush in Baytown, Texas. They lived in Lubbock, where Phillips was a developer and operated Phillips Agency Realtors. He was the youngest president of the Texas Association of Realtors and was affiliated as well with the National Association of Realtors.
In 1962, Phillips ran for the United States House of Representatives in the first Republican primary held in Texas since 1926. Though he lost his party's nomination to Dennis Taylor, he was slated in 1964 as the GOP candidate against long-term Representative George Mahon, also of Lubbock. In an era before Texas had a large number of Republican congressmen, the Democrat Mahon prevailed, 87,555 (77.6 percent) to Phillips's 25,243 (22.4 percent). Mahon did not again face a Republican challenger until his last congressional race in 1976, when he defeated Jim Reese, the former mayor of Odessa.
Phillips served on the boards of various church, charitable, and civic organizations, including Lubbock Christian University. He was a long-term member of the Broadway Church of Christ in Lubbock. He was active in ministering to those with addictions or in other kinds of crises. Phillips also helped to launch the Smithlawn Maternity Home and Adoption Agency in Lubbock, of which he was the administrator after his retirement from real estate.
Phillips died in Lubbock at the age of eighty-six. In addition to his wife, he was survived by four children, Richard Phillips and his wife Colleen of Carrollton, Texas; Drew Phillips and wife Connie of Allen, Texas; JoAnn Phillips of Lubbock, and Jeff Phillips and wife Beth of Cambridge, England; six grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren.
Phillips' memorial service was held on Janaury 27, 2012, at the W.W. Rix Funeral Home Chapel in Lubbock.