Obituary, Saturday, June 1, 2024

Published 8:10 pm Friday, May 31, 2024

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Phillip Lanier Haynes

Phillip Lanier Haynes, known affectionately as Phillip, little Phillip, Phill, Fu, or Unc Phill to his friends and family, passed away on May 26, 2024, at the age of 41, following a sudden sickness. Born September 16, 1982, in Dothan, Alabama, Phillip shared a birthday and many similarities with his late grandfather, Roy Renfroe.

Phillip Lanier Haynes

Phillip was a beacon of joy and humor who left an indelible mark on the hearts of anyone he came in contact with.

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A 2000 Houston County High graduate, Phillip’s pursuit of knowledge led him to Troy University of Dothan, where he earned a Bachelor’s in Social Science. He earned a Masters of Education in Learning and Technology from Western Governors University; he was working on another Masters and other certifications at the time of his death.

His passion for education and helping others was evident in his career choices, having worked as a teacher throughout the Wiregrass, a mental health technician for SpectraCare, an academic and vocational instructor in Adult Basic Education and Computer Specialist, and later in his career became the Education Director at Graceville Correctional Facility before finding his true home as a special education teacher at Morris Slingluff Elementary School in Dothan, Alabama. For four years, Phillip dedicated himself to nurturing and inspiring his students with love, patience, and kindness. While doing this, he also taught health classes online through Troy University.

Phillip’s professional journey started when he became a shift leader in 1999 at Circle West and then went on to manage the movie theater for the last five years until its closing in 2008.

Phillip’s love for sports was a lifelong affair, and he was a devoted fan of Auburn University. He went to countless basketball, baseball, and football games with his family. He played football at Houston County High School and took up Yoshukai Karate where he achieved a second degree brown belt and countless awards.

Phillip contributed to the world of sports with programs in Dale, Henry, Houston, and Jackson County schools, serving as assistant coach, defensive coordinator, line coach, and head coach in football, basketball, and baseball. From 2003 to 2005, he was the media relations for Wallace College Baseball. Phillip is most known for his time with Post 12, having been the media relations and bench coach for over ten years recording countless stats.

His commitment to sports was a testament to his love for the game and his desire to foster growth and teamwork in young athletes.

A man of many interests, Phillip’s sense of humor was unparalleled. He was a masterful storyteller who could find the funny in any situation.

An animal lover, Phillip shared a special bond with his dog, Doby, who was a constant companion for twenty years and source of joy until Doby’s passing. He had recently taken in two Russell terriers, Dr. Cornelius and (Hans) Weazel.

Phillip was tech-savvy and possessed a photographic memory that amazed everyone. He developed two apps and made countless items with a 3D printer. His love for superheroes, video games, and Baby Yoda spoke to his playful and imaginative spirit.

Those who knew Phillip would describe him as thoughtful, funny, stubborn, and smart. He was patient and tried his best to avoid confrontation. He had a way of making a joke in awkward situations to put everyone at ease, even if it was a jab at himself.

Phillip Lanier Haynes will be deeply missed but his legacy of kindness, dedication, and joy will live on in the memories of all who were fortunate enough to know him. His life was lived with purpose and love, and his influence will continue to be felt.

Phillip was preceded in death by his maternal grandparents, Roy and Shirley Renfroe; his paternal grandparents, Dorsey and Fairy Haynes, and his beloved dog, Doby.

Phillip was the cherished son of Phillip Murphy Haynes and Sandra Loren Renfroe Haynes. He was a beloved brother to Kristen Vaughn (Brett) and Justin Haynes (Elizabeth). His role as a fun and caring Unc Phill to Asher and Eli Vaughn, and Luke Haynes brought him immense happiness. He was also a treasured nephew to his aunts and uncles, Gina and Jon Folmar, and Dr. Rosemary and Chip Faust. Phillip’s loving spirit will also be remembered by his many cousins, other family members, friends, and coworkers who were a significant part of his life.

A celebration of Phillip’s life will be held on Monday, June 3, 2024 at 1:00 pm in the Sunset Memorial Park Chapel with Pastor David Beaty officiating. The family will be receiving friends the night before on June 2, 2024 from 3:00-5:00 pm at Sunset Funeral Home. Phillip will be laid to rest in Memory Hill Cemetery. Serving as pallbearers include Justin Haynes, David Edwards, Darius McKay, Jon McLain, Cliff Nyman, Larry Tubbs, and Brett Vaughn.

“A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives,” Jackie Robinson once said. Phillip’s life was indeed significant, touching countless lives with his generosity of spirit, his unwavering support, and his ability to lift others with his humor and wit.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Morris Slingluff Elementary School in his memory.