OCEAN CITY — Brice Reginald Phillips, age 90, died Friday, July 1, at his home in Ocean City. Born in Fishing Creek, Hooper’s Island in Dorchester County, he was the son of the late Augustus Ellsworth Phillips and Leone Estes Simmons Phillips.
He is survived by his beloved wife of 68 years, Shirley Elizabeth Flowers Phillips and his two sons, Stephen B. Phillips and his wife, Maxine of Annapolis, and Jeffrey P. Phillips Sr. and his wife, Janet of Ocean City; eight grandchildren: Brice S. Phillips, Joanna Phillips Malby, Aaron Phillips, Jessica Phillips, Jeffrey P. Phillips, Jr., Hugh Phillips, Carmen Phillips and Joseph Phillips; and 5 great-grandchildren: Lillie Phillips, Molly Phillips, Stephen Phillips, Melany Phillips and Levi Phillips. Also surviving is a sister, Jane Phillips Groff and several nieces and nephews.
Phillips was a graduate of Hooper’s Island High School and Strayer’s Business College in Baltimore. He worked at Bethlehem Steel Company from 1940 -1943 and then enlisted in the United States Army, where he served in the 66th Infantry Division.
He and his wife, Shirley, married in November of 1942, began their family and moved to Ocean City to start their seafood restaurant business in 1956. As they grew their business, they expanded to include multiple locations in Ocean City, then soon to follow, Baltimore, Norfolk, Virginia, Washington DC, Atlantic City, New Jersey, West Palm Beach, Fla. and Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Phillips received numerous awards over the years: Doctorate of Hospitality from the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore, Doctor of Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management from the Baltimore International College, State of Maryland Governor’s Citation for his contribution on the Ocean City Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention Committee, State of Maryland Resolution in recognition of his service on the Chesapeake Bay Trust, 2008 Citizen of the year from the Ocean City Chamber of Commerce.
He was inducted into the Maryland Business Hall of Fame by Maryland Chamber of Commerce, received recognition from the Restaurant Association of Maryland for his contribution and service, the Henry L. Dunnick Award from Restaurant Association of Maryland for enhancing national reputation of Maryland cuisine, for leadership in the Food Service Industry, Restaurant Association of Maryland, Restaurateur of the Year, State of Maryland Governor’s Salute to Excellence, named Ambassador of Goodwill for Ocean City and State of Maryland for nurturing the traditions of Maryland’s cherished resources: beaches, seafood, hospitality and Grand Ball of Ocean City, Governor’s Citation in Support of Maryland Summer Jobs Campaign.
Other awards included Ocean City Museum Society recognition for Ocean City Lifesaving Museum Contribution, Art League of Ocean City for being a Corporate patron of the Arts, Community Service Award, for making Skipjack Festival possible and Maryland Jaycees Appreciation Award for service given to Jaycees.
He had served for many years on different Boards and organizations: Director of Calvin B. Taylor Bank, Board of Trustees for Chesapeake Bay Trust, Chesapeake Bay Seafood Industries Association, Dunes Club and was a member of the Atlantic United Methodist Church in Ocean City.
A funeral service was held Wednesday, July 6 at the Roland E. Powell Convention Center. Entombment will be private for the family. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to Atlantic General Hospital, Critical Care Unit, 9733 Healthway Dr. Berlin, MD 21811 or: Atlantic United Methodist Church, 105 4th St. Ocean City, MD 21842 or Coastal Hospice, P.O. Box 1733 Salisbury, MD 21802. Arrangements are in the care of the Burbage Funeral Home in Berlin.