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Kay Porter Phillips

October 21, 1941 ~ October 26, 2018 (age 77)

Dr. Kay Porter Phillips, beloved mother, grandmother, friend, and international scholar, aged 77, of Decatur, Alabama passed away on October 26, 2018.  Kay was born on October 21, 1941, in Birmingham, Alabama where she grew up.  She graduated from Ensley High School, obtained a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio and later received her PhD from the University of Cincinnati.  She lovingly raised her daughters in Oxford, Ohio where she resided for more than forty years.

Kay is survived by her loving daughter, Katy Hanks Keane; grandchildren, Samuel and Jacob Fosnaught, and Ali Keane and her partner Peter Nolan. Kay is also survived by nieces, many close cousins and other family and lifetime friends.  Kay was preceded in death by her beautiful daughter, Dorothy Leigh Hanks, parents Emmett and Katie Vardaman Phillips, and her brother, Reverend Jerry E. Phillips.

Kay spent four decades of scholarly research and teaching at Miami University serving in numerous roles including Chair of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Assistant Provost for the University, and Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Science. Her lifelong interest was in leadership styles, women’s issues, and comparative political economies and ecology.  Her teaching philosophy sought to enable students to critically evaluate information with the hope that they would be well informed and inclusive citizens.  Kay’s scholarly work was well received and world renowned through her numerous books, papers, and international presentations.

Kay was a creative teacher with a gracious warmth as a human being.  She enjoyed cooking and sharing her culinary creations with others.  She shared her talents and passion for others by years of service in the Kiwanis Club of Oxford, Ohio and Decatur, Alabama.  She enjoyed traveling for pleasure and also to understand the sociology and anthropology of regions.

A memorial service will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, November 3rd at The First United Methodist Church of Decatur, Alabama with visitation from 9:00 a.m. until 10:00 a.m. at the church.  Interment in Valhalla Cemetery in Bessemer, Alabama will follow the service at 2:00 p.m.  Service arrangements are being handled by Shelton Funeral Home in Decatur.  The family requests no flowers. Donations may be made in Dr. Kay Phillips' memory to The American Heart Association or The American Cancer Society.

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