LOS ANGELES William T. Phillips, founder and chairman of Phillips Service Industries Inc., has died at age 79 following a battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as Lou Gehrigs disease.
Phillips, a Korean War veteran, started predecessor company PSI Hydraulics as a two-man operation in Detroit in 1967. Leveraging the companys early success and making several savvy acquisitions, he transformed the business into a global manufacturing and services holding company that today boasts 500 employees and annual sales of $130 million.
Phillips son, Scott Phillips, who is now president and chief executive officer of the Livonia, Mich.-based company, said that "beyond all the professional accomplishments," his fathers "enduring legacy" is one of personal kindness and generosity.
Phillips is survived by eight children, 20 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.