Louis `Buster' Phipps Jr., 78, businessman, state official

August 05, 2006|By JACQUES KELLY | JACQUES KELLY,SUN REPORTER

Louis Nicholas "Buster" Phipps Jr., an Annapolis businessman who was once the state's director of Chesapeake Bay Affairs, died of complications from Alzheimer's disease Sunday at La Casa Assisted Living. He was 78.

Born on Prince George Street in Annapolis, the son of a state senator and Anne Arundel County political leader who had been mayor of the state capital, Mr. Phipps served in the Army at the end of World War II.

He graduated from the University of Maryland in 1950, where he was an All-American lacrosse player, and played football under coach Paul Bryant. He was an assistant lacrosse coach at the Naval Academy from 1959 to 1972.

In 1970 he earned a law degree from the University of Baltimore.

He had been president of a family-owned Buick agency on West Street and owned the Phipps Marina on Gingerville Creek off the South River. He was also a former president of the Annapolis Yacht Basin Co.

In 1959 he was named to a seat on the county's Democratic State Central Committee and three years later Gov. J. Millard Tawes appointed Mr. Phipps to the five-member Maryland Tidewater Fisheries Commission.

Nearly nine years later, Gov. Marvin Mandel named him director of the Department of Chesapeake Bay Affairs, a post within the Department of Natural Resources.

"He was a true lover of the Chesapeake Bay. He believed the bay should be available to everyone and affordable in terms of parks and recreation," said his son, Wilson Harris Phipps of Annapolis.

Mr. Phipps was named an assistant secretary of the Department of Natural Resources in 1971, and as part of his duties he handled capital programs and land acquisition. He became the department's acting secretary in 1983.

Family members said that during this time, Mr. Phipps received several distinguished citizenship awards and governor's citations.

The Maryland Recreation and Park Association saluted him for 12 years of service as state liaison officer for the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund Program and for continued support of Maryland's Program Open Space.

The boating facility at Sandy Point State Park carries his name.

He also received an award for his assistance and development of the Gov. J. Millard Tawes Historical Museum in Crisfield.

Mr. Phipps had been a director on the board of Farmers Bank. He served as a trustee of the Maryland New Car and Truck Dealers Association from 1985 to 1994 and the Maryland State Retirement and Pension System from 1975 to 1983.

He was a member of the Annapolis Yacht Club, the Elks, the American Legion, the Touchdown Club of Annapolis, the Terrapin Club and the Naval Academy Athletic Association.

A founding member of the Annapolis Athletic Association, he was an enthusiastic marlin fisherman and competed in rockfish tournaments.

Services were held Thursday at Heritage Baptist Church in Annapolis, where he was a member.

In addition to his son, survivors include his wife of 36 years, Elizabeth Evans Phipps; three other sons, Louis Nicholas Phipps III of Raleigh, N.C., Luke Lovejoy Phipps of Centreville and David Timothy Phipps of Easton; two daughters, Caroline Murphy of Cambridge and Annie Lee Mobley of Daytona Beach, Fla.; a sister, Doris Phipps Wayson of Annapolis; 13 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. His first wife, the former Carrie Harris, died in 1968.

jacques.kelly@baltsun.com

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