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Funeral held for NC businessman, US ambassador Dave Phillips

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HIGH POINT, N.C. — A funeral was held on Monday for Dave Phillips, a Triad-area businessman and philanthropist who also served as a North Carolina state Cabinet secretary and U.S. ambassador.

Phillips died Nov. 20 at age 80 at his High Point-area home after a short battle with cancer, his wife, Kay, told the High Point Enterprise.

Phillips built several businesses in textiles and finance and helped redevelop a High Point furniture factory into what is now the Market Square showroom complex and Textile Tower, the newspaper reported.

Phillips was a state Board of Transportation member in the 1980s. Democratic Gov. Jim Hunt later picked him to be his commerce secretary, serving in the post for four years during the mid-1990s.

Phillips was also chairman of the successful effort to bring the Special Olympics World Games to North Carolina in 1999.

Republican President George W. Bush appointed Phillips in 2007 to serve as U.S. ambassador to Estonia, a post he held for two years.

In addition to his wife, Phillips' survivors include four children and several grandchildren, according to an obituary posted by a High Point funeral home. His funeral service was Monday morning at Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church in High Point.

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