A former textile mill worker, a deacon of the Green Creek First Baptist Church, Gurley volunteered for Meals on Wheels, visited the sick and elderly, loved children and kept a fine garden which he shared with everyone.
Born May 2, 1929, he was the son of Oscar and Lily Phillips of Polk County. He was honorably discharged from the U.S. Naval Reserve. He is survived by his wife, Mary June Holloway Phillips, to whom he was married for 54 years; one daughter, Lisa Phillips Rosen-barker of Berea, Ky.; two sons, Robert Gary Phillips of Pittsboro, N.C., Carroll G. Phillips of Forest City; five grandchildren, Adam Wade Phillips, Giles Nathaniel Crider, Jesse Randall Phillips, Bryce Nathaniel Rosen-barker and Bailey June Rosen-barker, and a number of nieces, nephews, and in-laws. He is also survived by two sisters: Cloa Prince of Duncan, S.C., and Zillah Cordell of Matthews, N.C. He was preceded in death by five siblings: R.E., J.J., Junie, Eulala, and Ethel.
The family has requested that, in lieu of flowers, memorials be made to Meals On Wheels, c/o the Meeting Place 2, 25 Shields Drive, Tryon, N.C. 28782.
Funeral services will be held at Green Creek Baptist Church at 11 a.m. Tuesday, April 8, officiated by the Rev. Allen McKinney, Dr. Donald McIntyre, and the Rev. Pat Jobe.
Burial will be in the church cemetery. An online guest register may be signed at www.mcfarlandfuneralchapel.com.
McFarland Funeral Chapel of Tryon is in charge of arrangements.
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