So Long FP – Nellysford Legend Passes (Updated 8.1.22 With Service Info)

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Fred Phillips (FP) seen in this October 2008 photo I took of him driving across the parking lot in front of his carwash and Basic Necessities. FP was a permanent fixture around the Nellysford area and known by thousands. FP passed away on Friday July 22, 2022, after complications from heart surgery.
FP Phillips (FP) seen in this October 2008 photo I took of him driving across the parking lot in front of his carwash and Basic Necessities. FP was a permanent fixture around the Nellysford area and known by thousands. FP passed away on Friday July 22, 2022, after complications from heart surgery.

Nellysford
Nelson County, Virginia

By Tommy Stafford

{scroll down for memorial service / obit info}

I remember the very first time I met FP. It was either late 99 or early 2000 shortly before moving to Nelson permanently. He was behind the counter of the old Valleymont Grocery he owned in Nellysford. He was working on a crossword puzzle as he often did.

Once we moved here for good FP was still behind that counter working on those crosswords and dispensing wisdom to customers that would come through. From locals to visitors, everyone knew FP. His family has been part of the Nelson backdrop for decades. Wintergreen Hardware, Blue Ridge Pig, and many more, just to name a few places folks would be familiar with today. FP’s siblings, and other relatives are still part of the legacy. FP leaves behind 3 wonderful children of his own as well.

FP could be quiet until you got to know him, then he would open up and tell jokes that would fill the air with laughter. He was major intelligent often discussing history, politics and medical procedures with me right on the parking lot of the car wash.

One of the biggest compliments FP ever gave me was on that very parking a few years after our kids came along. I was at Basic Necessities most days back then. He saw me loading up the kids as I often did once we finished eating. He said, “Tommy you have a beautiful family there. You’re doing it right, being with them. They grow so fast. Don’t forget that.” He’s right, they do.

FP joins a growing list of people now gone. People we’ve come to know over the nearly 2 decades living here. Ones we have been honored to call friends.

Time marches on and losing people that have become so familiar in our daily lives is inevitable. Yet, that still doesn’t make it easy or less sad.

FP, you will be missed. Not seeing you on that tractor hauling hay down 151 or sitting behind the counter at the hardware store is going to be so very odd. But I am so very glad I was able to know you and speak to you often over the years.

Fly high and rest in peace FP.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Yes I’ll miss him when my daughter was born 21 years ago I stopped in the store and he come from behind that counter went over and got a big package of pampers and some other stuff and said congrats to me and my wife. I was born on their place, that little bakery across from the hardware store. RIP In peace until we meet again.

  2. Tommy you and Yvette are undoubtedly two of the best “MOVE IN’S” Nelson County has ever seen. Thanks for your beautiful words always about the great Nelsonions. Yes I am still selling cookbooks.

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