John McNeill “Mac” Phillips

John McNeill “Mac” Phillips, 73, of Evergreen, TX passed away in his home on March 4, 2021. Mac was born July 17, 1947, in Cleveland, TX to John Edwin Phillips, Jr. and Cora Marie McNeill Phillips, with older sister Rosemarie (Phillips) Leisner welcoming his arrival.

He graduated Texas A&M University in 1969, company Spider-D, and went on to proudly serve in Vietnam as an Infantry Officer; he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for actions in combat. Mac married his blue-eyed love, Helen Kneese, of Fredericksburg, TX. They went on to co-found Eastex Environmental Laboratory. Until his final day, Mac took tremendous pride in the employees of “The Lab.” Mac’s passions were fishing, hunting, military and family history. He was a master storyteller and never met a stranger. He deeply loved his family, his country, and Texas A&M.

Mac is survived by his wife, Helen; son, Jay Phillips and his wife, Lynde, and their two daughters, Ella and Tess Phillips; and daughter, Heather Laney, spouse Jessica Laney and their son, Orion Laney.

A graveside service will be held at 2:00 p.m., Monday, March 15, 2021 at Evergreen Cemetery, Evergreen, Texas.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donating to the Coldspring-Oakhurst ISD Education Foundation “In Memory of Mac Phillips” to support local teachers and students. Link to donate:

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Before creating Bluebonnet News in 2018, Vanesa Brashier was a community editor for the Houston Chronicle/Houston Community Newspapers. During part of her 12 years at the newspapers, she was assigned as the digital editor and managing editor for the Humble Observer, Kingwood Observer, East Montgomery County Observer and the Lake Houston Observer, and the editor of the Dayton News, Cleveland Advocate and Eastex Advocate. Over the years, she has earned more than two dozen writing awards, including Journalist of the Year.

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