Gary Lee "Smokey" Phillips

September 18, 1945 ~ January 22, 2022 (age 76)


Gary Lee “Smokey” Phillips left us on Saturday, January 22, 2022. He was born in Jacksboro, Texas on September 18, 1945, to parents, Lowell Pool Phillips and Mildee (Lee) Phillips.

Smokey graduated from Jacksboro High School and attended Ranger College before beginning a lifelong career at the Texas Department of Transportation, where he served as maintenance foreman in all areas of Tarrant County as well as Cleburne, Decatur, and Jacksboro. He retired after nearly 50 years at the job he enjoyed for his entire adult life.

Smokey is survived by his beloved wife of 38 years, Darlene; his daughter, Christen Browning (Robert); stepchildren, Lori Commander (Mike), and Brent Prather; grandchildren, Jacob, Megan, Josh, Taylor, Makayla, Lauren, and Ryen; great granddaughter, Libby; as well as two sisters; and one brother.

He loved sports and the outdoors, and for years Smokey was involved in coaching girls’ softball teams. He was devoted to his family and friends and loved nothing more than hosting them all for one of his trademark barbecues or fish fries. He was a master chef at his giant, trailer-mounted smoker and was happy to fire it up for a party, anywhere, anytime.

After retiring, Smokey spent as much of his time as possible relaxing at his place on Lake Fork with Darlene – barbecuing, fishing, and entertaining friends and family – enjoying their hard-earned retirement years together.

Gary Lee Phillips was a warm and gentle soul who made people feel fortunate for knowing him, and who made the world a better place by being in it. Godspeed, Smokey. We will miss you.

Darlene and family will have a private memorial service later.

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