June 6, 1925 ~ November 25, 2019

Born in: Fletcher, NC
Resided in: Asheville, NC

Ernest Phipps, 94, formerly of Doshia Lane, Fletcher, passed away in Arbor Terrace, Asheville, on November 25, 2019 following a brief illness.

Ernest was one of 8 children born to Thomas R. Phipps and Margaret Nellie Kate Fowler Phipps. He was the sole survivor in that large family of 5 girls and 3 boys. In addition to his parents and siblings, he was preceded in death by his daughter, Doris P. West (December 2013) and his beloved wife of 67 years, Irene Trantham Phipps who passed away in February, 2016.

In addition to many nieces and nephews, Ernest is survived by his daughter, Sharon Phipps Brookshire (David) of Asheville, and his son Michael E. Phipps of Marion. His grandchildren include Jeremy West (Brooke), Nicholas West (Kathy), Matthew Brookshire (Christy), Timothy Brookshire (Blake), Emily Brow (Patrick), John M. Phipps, Cody Phipps (Kaylee) and Jordyn Phipps (Connor). He was also blessed with 12 great-grandchildren.

Ernest was born on June 6, 1925. Following high school graduation, he joined the Navy at age 17 in May, 1943 and served in the Pacific mostly on an LST as a Pharmacist’s Mate in WWII until March, 1946.

After the war, he worked at American Enka where he met his wife Irene. Ernest Joined the US Postal Service in 1958, working his way up from a clerk’s position to a supervisor position before he retired in 1986. After retirement, he and Irene fulfilled their dream of traveling to all 50 states, sometimes with the aid of Christian Tours.

Ernest and Irene were also active members of Skyland United Methodist Church where they served on numerous committees. He used to joke that he served on every committee except the United Methodist Women! Also in the early 1960’s he and several men from the congregation helped to build the Havener Educational Building on Skyland Campus.

Ernest was a beloved father and grandfather and will be missed by all. That includes the wonderful staff at Arbor Terrace who helped take care of him during the last few months.

A Celebration of his life will be held at 1:00 PM on Saturday, November 30, 2019 in the sanctuary of Skyland United Methodist Church with Revs. Dan Hester, Michael Phipps, and Joy Moss officiating. Burial with military honors will follow at Shepherd Memorial Park, Naples. Friends and family will be received from 11 AM to 1 PM prior to the service at the church.

Memorial contributions in Ernest’s memory may be made to Skyland UMC.

To place a condolence online, please visit www.grocefuneralhome.com.

Groce Funeral Home at Lake Julian is assisting the family.


Visitation: November 30, 2019 11:00 am - 1:00 pm

Skyland United Methodist Church
1984 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803


Room: Sanctuary

Celebration of Life: November 30, 2019 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Skyland United Methodist Church
1984 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803


Room: Sanctuary

Burial: November 30, 2019 2:30 pm

Shepherd Memorial Park
US Highway 25
Naples, NC


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  1. What a wonderful legacy. All of you are in my thoughts and prayers. I know he will be greatly missed, and we will miss our Sunday morning updates on his progress at Arbor Terrace. Rely on our Heavenly Father to guide you thru the next days. Our God is an awesome God he will carry you through.

  2. Mike, so sorry to read of your father’s passing from this life, but know he’s now living in his eternal home! My family will be here Saturday so I can’t attend his service, but you and family will be in my thoughts and prayers! Martha

  3. Sharon, sorry to hear of your father passing. You were blessed to have him this long. Prayers for you and your family!🙏 God is faithful in all things. Let God comfort you at this time.

  4. Sharon and Mike, so sorry to hear about your dad’s passing. I always thought highly of he and your mom. You both will be in my thoughts and prayers.

  5. Sharon and Mike, May God’s love provide comfort to you and your families as you celebrate the life of your wonderful Dad. Some of my happiest memories are the many family times spent with you, Doris and your Mom & Dad.

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