James "Herman" Phillips

Monday, April 3, 1939 - Saturday, February 13, 2021

Loved His Lord and His Family

Photo of James "Herman" Phillips  - 1939-2021

Canton – James “Herman” Phillips, age 81, a man greatly loved, passed away peacefully Saturday, February 13, 2021.

A native of Haywood County, Herman was born April 3, 1939 to the late Floyd Phillips and the late Charlotte Messer Phillips. Herman was a man who loved music and he was also a talented songwriter. In 1964 the late Kitty Wells recorded the song, “Password” which Herman had written and this remained on the Billboard Top 10 chart for 13 weeks. He also wrote a gospel song entitled “Let’s Regain the Garden” and once again the famous Kitty Wells chose to record Herman’s beautiful song.  Everyone enjoyed listening to Herman play his guitar and sing all types of music. He was blessed with a kind and giving spirit and his great love for his Lord and Saviour was evident all throughout Herman’s life. He touched many lives with his music and he shall never be forgotten.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by brothers, Hillard Phillips, Boyd Phillips, Bill “Tater” Phillips, and infant brother, Willard Stanley Phillips; a sister, Marie Phillips; and a son, James Carroll “Skip” Phillips in 2006.

Surviving are his loving wife of 60 years, Carolyn Trantham Phillips; son, Larry Phillips (Rita) of Canton, daughter, Rachelle Phillips of Canton; seven grandchildren, Charlie Messer of Candler; Niki Nunnally (Matt) of Marion, Cody Phillips of Sylva, Brittany Rogers (Jake) of Canton, Beth Monroe (Justin) of Fredericksburg, VA, Ethan Phillips of Fletcher, and Madison Phillips of Fletcher; and 16 great-grandchildren.

A private family funeral service will be held to honor and celebrate the life of Mr. Phillips.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to Haywood Hospice and Palliative Care at 43 Bowman Drive, Waynesville, NC 28785.

Crawford / Ray Funeral Home and Cremation Service is honored to be caring for the Phillips family.


Tap or click here to view the livestream of Herman's funeral service.





Condolences from family and friends

Carolyn & family so sorry to hear of your loss. Prayers for Gods precious comfort that only He can give to each of u at this very sad time in all your life’s! The YARBOROUGH FAMILY was very fond of u & your wonderful family! Hang on to all those precious memories. His life has just begun free from pain & sorrow it will only be joy for him!!! Love from our home to yours!!!!!
Effie Yarborough
So sorry to hear that he isn't with us in Earth,but celebrating the new life he now has in heaven. Thinking of you all and sending our love
Gabriel, Christian and family
We are so sorry we are sending prayers we are a distance cousins
Sarah Henson and Elvalee Rogers
Prayers and sympathy goes out to the family. Sorry to hear about our classmate dying. The graduating class of 1959, Bethel High School.
Anne Mathews
Sorry for your loss, prayer for the family!
Roger and Ruth Presley
Had the joy and the privilege of working with Herman at Smoky Mountain Vending in Canton, NC in the late 60's. He was a good friend and enjoyed many conversations with him. To Carolyn and family, my heart felt condolences and prayers. I am confident we will see Herman again, in God's timing, never to part for all eternity.
Billy Jack Moss
To all the family sorry to hear about Herman.always liked to hear him and tater sing.carolyn you have my sympathy I know the felling.Elva lee and sara. P Henson.
Elva lee Phillips, Rogers
What a blessing to know Herman "Catnip" Phillips. I had the privilege during the early morning hours to spend time with Herman while he delivered our supplies for the vending company that we both worked for. We shared testimonies regularly. Such a talented song writer. But most of all he was a person that loved the Lord, family and life. He will be missed but not forgotten. Herman, we will see soon. Praise the Lord!
Joe Harrell
Carolyn and family, I am so sorry to hear of Herman's passing. I used to love when we had a church or family dinner and Herman and Foster would grab out their guitars and I remember a couple of times, Daddy would play his harmonica. Then we would start singing hymns. Those were definitely some good times. I'm so thankful of God's promise that we will get to see our loved ones again in Heaven if we're a true believer. I pray that God will comfort all of you in this difficult time. I love all of you.
Beverly Yarborough