Adelaide’s owner Harry Walter Phillips, Jr., died July 22 after a four year battle with Lewy Body Dementia.
A longtime La Jolla resident and businessman, Harry’s family moved to California when he was young and he grew up in Encinitas, graduating from San Dieguito High school in 1942. He entered the US Army Air Corps as a Second Lieutenant in 1943, became a P-51 pilot, and served his nation proudly during the war years.
Harry attended UCLA, where he received his Bachelors degree in Engineering in 1949.Growing up, Harry had never expected to become a florist, however, his mother Adelaide had started a flower business in 1936 along highway 101 in Encinitas and when the town of La Jolla ask her to open a shop.
Adelaide asked her son Harry to open the business and in 1949, that was the beginning of the second Flowers by Adelaide. Over time, the entire operation was moved to La Jolla and Harry bought out his mother’s share in the business in 1974.A family man active in community affairs, an avid hunter and outdoorsman, Harry was the recipient of numerous awards honoring his philanthropy, most notably to the Rotary Foundation.
After many years spent as a widower, Harry married Betty Stirnkorb Phillips in 1983. They celebrated their 26th anniversary on July 7.
Harry is survived by his four children, Harry Phillips, Gina Phillips, Lucy Coonce Phillips, Andy Phillips and two grandchildren, Kyle and Brandon Phillips. His stepchildren include Jerry Stirnkorb, Judy Wilson, Lynn Jahn, Gigi Fenley, Jed Stirnkorb, Amy Stirnkorb and four step grandchildren Bryan and Grace Fenley, Morgan and Windie Wilson. He is also survived by his two sisters, Dorothy Waldorf, Jane King and brother Jim Phillips.
A celebration of his life will be held at Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Church, 7713 Girard Avenue in La Jolla on Aug. 2 at 3:30 p.m.
Donations may be made in memory of Harry Phillips to the San Diego Hospice c/o Foundation, 4311 Third Ave., San Diego, CA 92103