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Phil Koonce Jr.

ASHEBORO — Philip Haywood “Phil” Koonce, Jr., age 89, of Asheboro passed away on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024, at home, surrounded by his loving family.

Phil was born in Leggett, NC, on July 11, 1934, to Philip H. and Gertrude Morgan Koonce. 

He attended Tarboro High School and matriculated to Davidson College to study Psychology. While at Davidson, he held various leadership positions in student government, the Interfraternity Council and the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (R.O.T.C.). 

Phil also excelled in track and field, winning Southern Conference championships in the 100-yard and 220-yard dashes as well as the long jump. His senior year, he received the Tommy Peters Award in recognition of outstanding dedication and contribution to intercollegiate athletics. In 2012, he was inducted into the Davidson College Athletics Hall of Fame.

After graduating from Davidson, Phil married his high school sweetheart Marilyn Mayo.  The two then spent the next four years traveling to various military bases as Phil completed infantry officer basic and army aviation training in fixed and rotary winged aircraft. After a brief time in the reserve, he was honorably discharged having attained the rank of Captain. 

Phil was a long time member and elder in the Presbyterian Church and, more recently, served on the board of trustees in the First United Methodist Church of Asheboro. He held leadership roles in various civic and volunteer organizations, including Rotary International, Habitat for Humanity, Boys and Girls Club and the YMCA.

Phil had a distinguished career in the textile industry in North Carolina, Rhode Island and Puerto Rico. Phil and Marilyn enjoyed traveling, playing bridge and entertaining. Nothing brought Phil more joy than his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. 

In addition to his parents, Phil was preceded in death by his brother, Jim Koonce.

He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Marilyn Mayo Koonce; sister, Lena Vale Kenan of Morganton, NC; sons, Philip H. Koonce, III and wife Elizabeth of Charlotte, NC, and Michael G. Koonce and husband Andy Nelson of Palm Springs, CA; daughters, Karen K. Hurlbert and husband Glenn of Richmond, VA, and Lyn Koonce and wife Jeanie Duncan of Greensboro, NC; grandchildren, Sallie Delfino and husband Anthony, Philip Koonce IV and wife Ariana Strandburg-Peshkin, Virginia Koonce, Calvin Hurlbert and Kate Hurlbert; and great grandchildren, Sammy Delfino and Louie Delfino.

A memorial service will be held on Sunday, Feb. 25, 2024, at 2:30 p.m. at First United Methodist Church, 224 North Fayetteville Street, Asheboro, with the Reverend Lynda Ferguson officiating. The family will receive friends following the service in the church parlor.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to:

— First United Methodist Church, 224 N. Fayetteville St., Asheboro, NC 27203.
— Habitat for Humanity of Randolph County, P.O. Box 669, Asheboro, NC 27204.
— Central Asheboro Boys & Girls Club, 801 Sunset Ave., Asheboro, NC 27203.
— Or the charity of the donor’s choice.

Pugh Funeral Home in Asheboro is serving the Koonce family. Please share remembrances and condolences at www.pughfuneralhome.com.