Memorial service for Bum Phillips held in Goliad; another scheduled for Tuesday in Houston

HOUSTON The first of two public memorials for Phillips was held Saturday at Goliad High School.

The former Houston Oilers coach died last Friday at the age of 90. Phillips spent the last years of his life in Goliad. On Wednesday, he was buried under an oak tree on his ranch there.

As the tributes to Phillips poured in at Saturday's service, his daughter, Andrea McCarthy, remembered her father's legacy.

McCarthy said people in Goliad saw her dad as a neighbor and devout Christian. She said her father worked hard to take care of his family when he was still a high school coach.

"So he had six kids, and trying to put them all through school. The last four of us went to college," she said. "Trying to get us through college when he wasn't making that much money was a tribute to him. He worked very, very hard."

McCarthy said her father's health was in decline in the months before his death, but he always maintained his sense of humor.

Jobeth Whitlow, a hospice nurse who cared for Phillips in his final days, was one of the mourners at Saturday's service

"You kind of had to separate him from the image that he was," Whitlow said. "He was just this very caring, awesome person that when you were in a room with him, he made you feel like you were the special one; not him."

Whitlow said Phillips still enjoyed watching football, and two of his favorite treats were ice cream drumsticks and coconut pie.

Family and friends will have the chance to celebrate the life and legacy of the iconic coach once again next week. Another public memorial is planned for Tuesday night at Lakewood Church in Houston.

We will be streaming the local Tuesday service live on our ABC13 mobile news app.

Phillips died just three days before former Oilers owner Bud Adams passed away. Adams died last Monday at his home in River Oaks. He was also 90 years old. A memorial service for Adams will be held Monday at the Second Baptist Church on Woodway. It begins at 1pm.

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