Well-known farmer and agribusiness gentleman, Mr. Phillip Evitts of the Pleasant Shade Community, perished in a house fire at his Stone Branch Road farm home, which was reported to Smith County E-911 at 6:38 p.m. Monday evening. The 61-year-old Mr. Evitts was pronounced deceased at 1:21 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019 at the Riverview Regional Medical Center ER in Carthage.
His brother-in-law, Eld. Ricky Hackett, and his close friend, Eld. Michael Nesbitt, officiated at the 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16 funeral services from the Carthage Chapel of Sanderson Funeral Home. Burial was beside his son in the Pleasant Shade Cemetery.
One of seven children, he was born Phillip Dale Evitts in Carthage and was the son of the late Bobby Gene Evitts, who died at the age of 85 on March 20, 2016 and Mildred Inez Gregory Shoulders Evitts, who died at the age of 87 on Nov. 12, 2014.
Four siblings preceded him in death: an infant sister, Pamela Jane Evitts, who died at the age of six months on June 1, 1960; Billy Gene “Bill” Evitts, who died at the age of 38 on Jan. 30, 1994; twins, Judy Mai Shoulders Spivey, who died June 27, 2017 at the age of 72; and Jimmy Ray Shoulders, who died Oct. 13, 1988 at the age of 43.
On May 13, 1978 at the home of Phillip’s parents, he was united in marriage to Hartsville native, the former Betty Darlene Taylor.
They were preceded in death by a son, Jamison Taylor “Jamie” Evitts, who died as the result of an automobile accident on Nov. 29, 2000 at the age of 16; a niece, Karen Renea Spivey, who died from a childhood disease at the age of 17 on Dec. 8, 1987; nephew, Terry Hix Spivey, who died at the age of 34 on Jan. 2, 2001 as the result of an automobile accident.
Mr. Evitts was well known as the former manager of Smith Farmers Co-op in South Carthage, a position he occupied for over 15 years, and was a charter member of the Smith County Fair Board and also served on the Smith County Beer Board, the Smith County Planning Commission, the Smith County Extension 4-H Board and was widely listened to on Sunday mornings on WCUZ’s Old Fashion Gospel Hour.
He was saved as a young man and was baptized into the full fellowship of the Mt. Tabor Missionary Baptist Church in the Pleasant Shade Community where he was a longtime Deacon and later was ordained and was a member of the Hogans Creek Missionary Baptist Church.
In addition to operating his farm he had been employed with ABC Trucking Co. in Lebanon and Consolidated Freightways.
He was a Master Mason and was a member and Past Worshipful Master of the Difficult Benevolent Lodge # 451, F & A M.
Mr. Evitts graduated from Smith County High School in 1975, where he majored in Agriculture.
Surviving in addition to his wife of over 41 years are: their two children, Joseph Dale “Joey” (Krisy) Evitts Dunlap, Becky Evitts (Josh) Howell of the Pleasant Shade Community; sister, Paula Evitts (Ricky) Hackett of the Pleasant Shade Community; brother, Steve (Kay) Evitts of Cookeville; brother-in-law, Troy Spivey of the Pleasant Shade Community; seven grandchildren, Sam, Jack and Millie Cate Evitts, Jay, Luke, Ben, and Will Howell.
The Evitts family has requested memorials to either the Pleasant Shade Fire Department or the Jamie Evitts Memorial Scholarship Fund.