Todd Phillips, 55, was killed on Friday, June 17, when his Toyota SUV collided with a Hyundai SUV at the intersection of Ridgefield Parkway and John Rolfe Parkway in the West End. The power was out at the intersection after severe storms pummeled the area.
Hundreds gathered at the Epiphany Evangelical Lutheran Church and in an overfill room to hear from Phillip's closest friends and oldest son, TJ.
"Many of you knew him as the teacher, the mentor or father figure as I did," TJ said fighting back tears from the podium. "TJ is short for Todd, but, I'm not sure if I’ll ever live up to the name."
Phillips was an AP Statistics teacher, basketball and tennis coach, and head of the Center for Medical Sciences at Godwin High School in Henrico’s West End.
He began teaching in 2003, and won numerous teaching awards, according to his obituary. Phillips was also a loving husband of 30 years and father of two boys.
"I’m proud to have been his friend," friend Tom Hudepohl said, "I hope I live the rest of my life like he did, following my heart and passions. Life is just too short for anything else."
Wednesday, 2,500 students and colleagues filled the Mills Godwin gymnasium to celebrate Phillips' life.
“He had a huge heart. A huge brain and a huge smile too and I think that will last on everyone,” said a former student, with a smile.
In lieu of flowers, the family is asking donations be made to the Coach T-Philly Memorial Scholarship Fund. Donations may be sent to Mills E. Godwin High School, Attn: Coach T-Philly Memorial Fund, Henrico, Va. 23238. For more information, contact the school at 804-705-2600.