One Of The Great Georgia Drivers: Rance Phillips

Back In The Day

Waycross' Rance Phillips was a threat for many years on race tracks all over.

Waycross' Rance Phillips was a threat for many years on race tracks all over.

Rance Dixon Phillips was born on July 8, 1934.

“I was born in Davidson, Alabama. That’s between Alexander City and Roanoke, a little northwest of Lafayette on AL Highway 22 out of Roanoke. There is Wadley then Davidson then New Site. I still have relatives in the area.”

Ralph Phillips, his father, worked in the cotton mills. His mother was Berta Princher Phillips and both were from that area.

“(The) biggest portion of the family owned sawmills which are almost extinct today,” Rance said.  “I had an uncle that died about six years ago that was right there on Highway 22. He was a Dickers. He owned a planer mill and sawmill right there on the right hand side of the road as you go out of Roanoke. On the left hand side was a little store but they moved it across the road. Ever since my uncle was a teenager that was all he ever did.”

“I had a brother but he died in 1995 – Gynn Phillips,” Rance continued. “He was into racing also but in North Florida. For about 30 years he worked at the Volkswagen dealer in Gainesville, Florida. I had a sister that her and her husband moved near Gatlinburg after retiring. She had worked at that same Volkswagen dealer also for about 30 years and he had run a roofing company.

“There were only 11 grades when I graduated from high school. Next year my sister was very teed because they added another year and she had to go. She’s two years and 10 days younger than me. She went to Jones Business College in Jacksonville. My other sister lives about 35 miles northwest of Minneapolis. I started school in Davidson but finished in Manor (a small town southwest of Waycross),” after his family had moved to the Waycross area in 1957 or so. “I spent most of my adult life right around Waycross.”

“I went to high school in Manor,” Rance said.  “We lived in Manor – that is 18 miles west of Waycross on the Valdosta highway. My dad did some farming around there but mostly he was a minister. He pastored the Church of God in Camp Branch for years. Also the Mount Wayne Church. Pastored both at one time or another. Then he was in Gainesville. He retired while he was in Gainesville after 14 years at this one church. I was raised up in the church. I know right from wrong but… I lived on one side of the road and my mom and dad lived on the other side of the road. They pretty well kept tabs on me.”

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