Brice Phillips, Sr. died today at the age of 90. I have been lucky enough to have met Brice a few times over the last few years as Phillips has grown from the crab shack he and his long wife and partner Shirley started in 1956 to the world leader in the seafood marketplace that Phillips Foods is today. Brice and Shirley have been symbolically and literally the mother and father of the "family" that is Phillips from their immediate family to its employees to the community made up of those whose lives have passed through the Phillips restaurants and plants in the U.S. and the world. Today the Phillips family is in mourning and we offer our sincerest sympathies.
I print bleow the statement issued by Phillips Foods this afternoon along with the wonderful picture they sent of Brice and Shirley doing what they loved.
It is with great sadness that Phillips Seafood conveys the passing of Brice Phillips, Sr. at the age of 90 on Friday, July 1, 2011. As his family mourns his passing, so too will the thousands of lives he touched through his leadership of Phillips Seafood Restaurants.
Brice was a role model to not only his family, but to the employees who worked for the popular seafood restaurant company that grew out of humble beginnings in Ocean City, MD.
Brice and Shirley, his wife and partner in founding Phillips Seafood, were both natives of Hooper’s Island, Md. on the Chesapeake Bay. Brice and Shirley started Phillips Crab House in 1956 with little money but a whole lot of determination. They came from families that lived off the water. They knew that their opportunity to make their mark was to take the crabs from the family’s seafood plants and open their own restaurant. What started as a “crab shack” in the burgeoning beach town of Ocean City, Md., soon became a restaurant seating 1200 and covering one square block of land.
Brice is survived by his childhood girlfriend and wife of 68 years, Shirley, sons Stephen and Jeffrey, daughters-in-law Maxine and Janet, eight grandchildren and four great grandchildren.
Most recently, he was recognized by longtime friend Maryland’s former Governor and Comptroller William Donald Schaefer. Brice was included in Schaefer’s last will and testament and was honored as having the only sentence-length tribute which read, “He is one of the nicest men I have ever met.”
His life will be celebrated by those who knew him best and the many whose lives he touched when they dined in his restaurants or worked for this great man.