Official Obituary of

Phillips Lee Saunders

March 27, 1949 ~ March 3, 2024 (age 74) 74 Years Old

Phillips Saunders Obituary

Phillips Lee Saunders was born March 27, 1949, in Portland Oregon to Rosa Lee Saunders and Willie X.Hurst Sr. and sadly gained his wings early Sunday morning, March 3, 2024.Phil was a beautiful person and spread peace and happiness wherever he went. He did things his way and always kept it real!

Phil started boxing at Knott Street Community Center at a young age after he and his older brother Billy tired of losing fights to their older sister Deborah. He won golden gloves competitions multiple times. He attended Elliott Elementary and Washington High School; upon graduation he was one of the first Upward Bound program students to attend the University of Oregon with his studies in law. While at the University of Oregon he was active member of the Black Student Union and roommates with Ken Man, the late Charles Carter and the late Willie Triplett. They loved the Temptations and often danced (yes, those smooth Temptation moves) and sang their songs in perfect harmony. Upon leaving college he embarked on something his father instilled in him, which was to be an entrepreneur so he opened Phil’s Tobacco/Smoke Shop on Union Ave/MLK in NE Portland and later a Shiny Shoes shoeshine stand in downtown Portland.

Among Phil’s interests and hobbies were playing bid whist, dominoes, chess, meeting with his friends on the 1st Saturday of the month and watching boxing and many different sports programs on tv. His teams were the 49ers and Yankees. During the past year he became the cameraman for “Love in Action” and “Purpose and Direction” podcast, while working with his brother Pastor
Willie X. Hurst Jr. of New Zion Revival. Anyone who knew Phil knew he loved to travel. So much so he gained the name of International Phil. His natural charisma and knowledge allowed him to make friends easily and maintained close relationships with Lucky, Colorado Slim, Playin’ Eddie, Ken Man, and Precious just to name a few.

He is the father of Seven (7) children, Karen Booze, California; Tiffany Saunders, Idaho; Devonte (Mister) Carter, Washington; Phyllis Hunter, Arizona; Michael Williams, Washington; Tamarra Harris, Washington; and Mel Williams, Washington. Phil loved his family and friends. He was always reaching out to check up you or stop by to “lay eyes on you”. He loved his younger sister’s cooking and hit her up for peach cobblers regularly. He enjoyed one the week before his passing.

Phil is proceeded in death by - Willie X. Hurst Sr. (Father), Rosa Lee Saunders (Mother) and William Saunders Jr. (Brother)

Phil leaves to cherish his precious memories – Sisters; Deborah J. Foster and Denise Hurst; Brothers; Willie Hurst Jr. (Peggie), David C. Saunders, Keith Saunders, and Mr. Jack Gaddis. Children; Karen Booze, Tiffany Saunders, DeVonte (Mister) Carter, Michael Williams, Tamarra Harris, and Mel Williams. 12 Grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren, and a host of nieces, great nieces, nephews, great nephews, cousins, friends and a special friend, Susan Moen.

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Celebration of Life
March 23, 2024

11:00 AM
Portland Covenant Church
4046 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Portland, OR 97212


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