The Town of Huntingdon Mayor and Council and friends made Keith Phillips’ fiftieth birthday a special one.
He was recognized at the Town Council meeting on July 27 with a proclamation and plaque. Later, he was honored by friends with a drive-by parade of some 30 or more cars and showered with gifts and cards.
Keith, a 1991 graduate of Huntingdon High School, now lives in Parsons, but never forgets his friends in Huntingdon with phone calls on their birthdays.
Mayor Dale Kelley read the proclamation aloud while Keith stood nearby smiling and gesturing.
The mayor noted that Keith was celebrating his fiftieth birthday on July 28 and proclaimed Wednesday, July 28 as Keith Phillips Day.
“His life pursuit has been to remember people’s birthdays and phone numbers and be the first one to call them each year to personally sing Happy Birthday. Keith has given joy to others over the years through his phone calls and his love for the Huntingdon community and it is appropriate to send congratulations and best wishes for this special occasion. It is my privilege to recognize Keith Phillips upon this important milestone in his life,” said the mayor.
After the presentation, Keith spoke, telling the mayor and board how much he appreciated the award.
“I’m so proud of this,” he said. “I’m proud of everybody here.”
He told the dates of his mother and father’s deaths.
Accompanying Keith to the council meeting were Matt Sturdivant and Kendall Sanders.
Town Recorder Kim Cater recalled Keith’s excitement when she called to invite him to the council meeting.
“It made my heart happy,” she said. “He wanted to invite the whole town and share his joy and happiness with them. From the time he arrived at city hall he wanted to talk and share Huntingdon memories with all of his old friends.”
Huntingdon friend Lori Nolen, who knows Keith well, says he has a remarkable memory.
“Keith can remember everyone’s phone numbers and birthday by heart,” she said. “He makes sure and calls ahead of time, sings happy birthday, and then always ends with ‘I hope you have a great, wonderful, lovely day.”
According to his many friends, his priorities are God, family, friends, and high school football that he always wants the scoop on. In addition, he loves singing, dancing, and laughing. His favorite song is “Mambo No. 5.”
Although, he now lives in Parsons, he still continues to carry on his tradition of calling his Huntingdon friends.
According to Nolen, he loves the duck season because he talks on the phone to people across the country from 4 a.m. till 10 p.m.
“He talks to hunters all over the country and Canada on a daily basis during the season. He calls them and they call him,” she said.
His friends say a trait that makes Keith stand out is the fact he chooses to see the good in everyone he talks to or meets and makes everyone he talks with feel important.
“He believes the best in every person and many wish they could look at life through the lens that Keith does,” said Nolen. “He knows no hate, only love. Well, actually his only hate is maybe for Alabama football.”
She pointed out that he may experience hurt, but his hope is greater. He’s never in a rush and always makes time for everyone.
“Unintentionally, Keith has left a footprint in the hearts of this community with his unwavering friendship and amazing gifts God has given him.”