Shirley Phillips joined Heaven’s choir on March 28, 2023, at her home in Bowie MD. Born to the late Georgia Lee Bolton in Atlanta, GA on February 21, 1943, she was a high academic achiever and graduated with honors from Booker T. Washington high school on June 2, 1961, in Atlanta, GA. She continued her education at Clark College graduating on May 30, 1967. While there, she was very active in the civil rights movement and raised “the good trouble” for social justice while attending Clark College and as a member of SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee).
Shirley married her high school sweetheart and then accomplished singer, Ambrose Phillips Jr. in Atlanta in 1962. Shirley became an educator and taught English at the newly formed Frederick Douglass high school. In 1964. Ambrose and Shirley were blessed with the birth of their first son, Ambrose III and later Clifton in 1968 both in Atlanta GA. Shirley was an active member of the NAACP and became an executive committee member for the NAACP of Atlanta in 1970-71.
In 1972, Shirley and family moved to Washington D.C. Shirley continued her path as an educator in Prince George’s County Maryland for a combined 30 years. She started her career in the county working at Brightseat Elem and Thomas Pullen JHS. Shirley would finally move to Fairmont Heights HHS, where she retired as an academic coordinator and chair of English. Shirley also served on the Princeton Review Board, lead programs that focused on improving SAT and Maryland State Performance Program standards at her school and trained trainers in the College Board’s PACESETTER teacher training program. She was dedicated to educating young people and getting them into college to realize their potential and dreams!
Shirley loved to travel spending time in Italy, Greece, Ukraine and Turkey. She went on several cruises to the Caribbean with her mom and close friends. She also was an avid reader and loved Shakespeare, classic movies, music and nature. Shirley and Ambrose loved the beach, often traveling to Jekyll Island, GA, Daytona FL and Ocean City MD. She later would care for her ailing husband through various illnesses. After an extended illness, Shirley would transition knowing she was loved and comforted by family. Over the years, she touched many people's lives and was always a respected and loved educator, reliable friend and trusted confidant over the years.
Shirley is predeceased by her husband Ambrose Phillips Jr. (2005). She leaves to mourn her sons, Ambrose Phillips III, (wife Kyran), Clifton Phillips, four grandchildren, Ambrose Phillips IV (Elyse) Tampa FL, Cameron Phillips, Austin Phillips of Bowie, MD and Milan Phillips of Hyattsville, MD and two great grandchildren, Ambrose V and Aiden, with several cousins and friends in Atlanta, GA.