Letter to the Editor
Dr. Phillippi more than a doctor
I feel more needs to be said about Dr. Phillippi.
Dr. Phillippi was raised outside of Camden, Ala. Technically, between Camden and the Alabama River in an area called “Possum Bend.”
Dr. Phillippi attended Auburn University and graduated in Veterinary medicine. He then decided to go to medical school and graduated as a M.D. from Tulane University.
Following medical school he served in Europe during World War II in the U.S. Army medical Corps. During the war, Dr. Phillippi gained extensive experience treating injuries.
When World War II ended in 1946, Dr. Phillippi came to Brewton and started a medical practice. He had planned to stay only a year or two then specialize in Orthopedic Surgery.
He however never left, and practiced here until his retirement, returning to “Possum Bend.”
Dr. Phillippi married Virginia Kerlin. Virginia was the music director at the First Methodist Church in Brewton. They had two sons, Dr. F.M. (Bucky) Phillippi III and George M. (Mac) Phillippi.
Dr. Phillippi was a rabid Auburn fan and supporter. He was an avid quail hunter, and participated in field trials at the amateur and professional levels. Dr. Phillippi prized dog, Satilla Virginia Lady, was named for his wife. This dog won the Grand National Field Trial, which is the World Series or super bowl of field trials.
Dr. Phillippi was one of a small group that started the Brewton medical Center and the local nursing home. He pushed for the building of a new hospital and in 1954, the first part of the current hospital complex was built.
He was an active member of the hospital medical staff and the Escambia County medical Society. He served as president of both organizations.
More than only local medical involvement, Dr. Phillippi was a long time member of the Board of Censors of the Medical Association of the State of Alabama and was elected president of the Medical Association of the State of Alabama.
For those of us who knew Frank, he was a man of very definite opinions.
For those who were his patients he was a firm believer in personal responsibility. He expected his patients to follow his instructions; otherwise they may as well find another doctor.
Those of us who worked with Frank, old friends and patients will always miss him. He does deserve more than a passing comment. He deserves our thanks for the unselfish care to the community, for being a force in helping our medical community be more than most our size and his contributions to improving health care in the state of Alabama.
Robert R. Smith MD