TULSA, Okla. (KFOR) – On Saturday afternoon, family, friends and colleagues said their final goodbyes to Dr. Preston Phillips, the orthopedic surgeon gunned down in the Tulsa mass shooting earlier this month.
“He was so proud to be of service and if the Lord allowed it, he would’ve served this community for decades more,” said Erin Phillips, the doctor’s oldest daughter.
The funeral for the 59-year-old was held at the Boston Avenue Church in Tulsa.
“Whenever you lived a life of the quality that Dr. Phillips did, you will have earned for yourself lots of praise,” said one of the speakers.
Phillips and three other victims were shot and killed on June 1 at the St. Francis Medical Complex’s Natalie Building, located near 61st St. and Yale Ave.
Michael Louis, a patient of Phillips’, went to the Natalie Building just before 5 p.m. that day, armed with an AR-15 assault rifle he had just purchased and a pistol.
Louis entered the building’s second floor and opened fire, killing Phillips, Dr. Stephanie Husen, receptionist Amanda Glenn and patient William Love. Louis then killed himself. Police found a letter the shooter wrote, stating he intended to kill Phillips and anyone who got in his way. Louis blamed Phillips for physical pain he was experiencing after surgery.
Phillips was also a husband to Melody, and a father to Erin, Jarrett and Elise.
“It hurts a lot now that he’s gone,” said Jarrett Phillips. “I lost that role model, that guide towards being a gentleman, that guide towards seeing the world. It’s not just me. The world is losing that spirit.”
Elise Phillips added that she remembers also eagerly waiting for her father to come home from work.
“He is home, just not in this home,” she said. “He’s home with God waiting on us this time with open arms. I love you forever and always daddy.”
Phillips’ family asks that contributions be made, in lieu of flowers, to the Dr. Preston J. Phillips Scholarship Fund c/o Tulsa Community Foundation.
“The Scholarship Fund will enhance educational opportunities through scholarship and mentorship, for racial and ethnic minority high school students from the Greater Tulsa Area seeking to attend institutions of higher learning. A particular emphasis will be placed on the cultivation,of the yet-to-be fully realized potential of racial and ethnic minority students,” according to the scholarship’s mission statement.
Phillips’ remains are in the care of Biglow Funerals in Tulsa.