Alaric I. "Al" Phillips, a counselor who was an outreach and volunteer coordinator for a Baltimore men's shelter, died of a heart attack Sept. 2 at his West Ostend Street home. He was 52.
The son of Jesse James Phillips, a Secret Service agent and private investigator, and Geraldine Phillips, a Howard County public school educator, Alaric Ivan Phillips was born in Columbia, S.C.
He was raised in Germany, where his father was serving as an Army staff sergeant, and later moved with his family to Washington and Columbia.
After graduating in 1980 from Oakland Mills High School, where he played football and baseball and was a swimmer, he began his college studies at the Air Force Academy and later transferred to the University of Maryland, College Park, where he studied business administration.
After leaving the university, he worked at several jobs, including as a manager at United Parcel Service.
He later studied at Coppin State University, from which he graduated with honors with a bachelor's degree in social work in 2010. At his death, he was pursuing a master's degree in social work at the University of Maryland School of Social Work.
Mr. Phillips, who had overcome substance abuse, drew from his personal experience of recovery to help those similarly afflicted.
He was a counselor and outreach and volunteer coordinator at South Baltimore Station, a men's shelter.
"Over a period of time, he built a volunteer base to approximately 1,500 people who assisted with community service and philanthropic pursuits," said a sister, Romy Ann Phillips of Los Angeles.
"Youth and veterans were his primary interests. In order to assist them, Alaric expanded his service efforts at South Baltimore Station by becoming a member of the fundraising committee of Power Excel," a Baltimore nonprofit, said Ms. Phillips.
"He was also a member of the scholarship committee of the Students Sharing Coalition," she said. "He also collaborated in the development of youth programs for the city's Department of Recreation and Parks."
Mr. Phillips was an alumnus of the National Collaboration for Homeless Veterans AmeriCorps program, and in 2007 was named Volunteer of the Year when he was presented with AmeriCorps' Spirit of Service Award.
His hobbies included photography, gardening, and building and fixing computers.
Funeral services will be held at noon Tuesday at the March Funeral Home, 4300 Wabash Ave.
A memorial gathering to celebrate his life will be held at 4 p.m. Tuesday at Brown Memorial Woodbrook Presbyterian Church, 6200 N. Charles St.
In addition to his sister, Mr. Phillips is survived by his mother, who lives in Columbia; another sister, Hilary Rosetta Phillips Rogers of Olney; and a niece.