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In the early hours of Saturday, August 26, 2023, Phillip Andrew Kilpatrick passed
away at home, in the arms of his mother. He was born on July 16, 1983, having
recently celebrated his fortieth birthday. Born in Greenville, North Carolina, he
spent his early childhood in Snow Hill, North Carolina, loving small town
relationships. The close-knit community was his playground. Phillip was lucky
enough to enjoy a simpler time, when he could ride his bike with neighborhood
children with no fear bad things may happen. You see, everyone took care of
each other and protected all the children in this sleepy little town. Parents felt
secure knowing their child could play and explore all day, until the streetlights
came on. There were no cell phones. If he fell off his bike, a neighbor would
always be there to come to his aid, bandage him, invite him in for a homemade
goodie and send him on his way. He developed independence and trust through
the people in Snow Hill. As he grew older and had his own little boy, he always
said Snow Hill was the inimitable place of love and security, a perfect place to
raise a child.
He was intelligent, very inquisitive and loved learning. While attending Miss
Dinah’s Nursery School at age 3, he went missing the very first day and
everyone was frantic! It was his first time away from home and Miss Dinah met
him at the door with her big, beautiful smile and asked him if he wanted to go
fishing, to entice him to join the group. He eagerly went right in. When he
realized she meant fishing with a yardstick, a string, and a paperclip, catching
paper fish to learn his colors, he was a bit disappointed. He remembered the
small pond filled with blue-green water, about a half block from her house, so
he slipped out with his yardstick and string. He was found very quickly, relaxing
on the bank of that pond, with the string floating on the water! But he lived and
He started kindergarten at Arendell Parrott Academy at age 5. By the time he
was in the third month of kindergarten, he was reading at an advanced level. He
loved experimenting, but he preferred doing it on his own, which sometimes
created problems. There was never a dull moment! His love of puzzles, erector
sets and models was unequaled. He could complete all in minutes, but this
brought another dilemma, he lost interest quickly and would search until he
found something “better”. After graduating from Greene Central High School,
he took courses at Pitt Community College. It wasn’t long before he discovered
his love for construction and electrical work. When he was asked what he did
for a living, he would grin broadly, arms outstretched and respond, “I light the
The constant for which he was passionate every day of his life was his faith in
God. He was christened at Calvary UMC in October 1983 and baptized, renewing
his promise to God in 2013. He loved to worship at Calvary United Methodist
Church in Snow Hill as a child. He loved the solitude of St. Barnabas Episcopal
Church in Snow Hill, living right next door. Ultimately, as an adult, he found that
love again at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Kinston. The Boar’s Head Festival
was the highlight of his year and he always wanted to participate. He would
play any part, just to be included.
As he grew older, he was eager to introduce his son, Mak, to all the things that
interested him as a child and included a few more things; hunting, video games,
and of course, The Boar’s Head Festival. One thing is certain, he loved his son,
Matthew Allen Kilpatrick, more than anything on this earth and prayed for him
every day. He was so very proud of him.
Phillip was a giving person. If he had it and you needed it, he would give it to
you. Always eager to help people, he used his talents as an electrician and
builder to assist people, volunteering his time for the Salvation Army at
Christmas, the Red Cross after storms and disasters, and anytime at any church.
In his free time, he was ready and willing to assist anyone that needed help
whether it be installing a hot water heater or just hanging a ceiling fan. He’d
always say, “No charge, Glad I could help.” If he did charge, it was usually just
the cost of the supplies. He enjoyed his work and was happy doing it. Phillip
equaled excitement! He had a show stopping smile and didn’t shy away from a
bear hug! He was a good soul who somehow lost his focus and couldn’t find his
way back. His heart was tired. His death has left a void that will never be filled.
He was predeceased by his paternal grandparents, Milton Elliot Kilpatrick and
Anna Bell Rhem Kilpatrick (Kinston, NC), his maternal grandfather, Thomas
Edward Bessellieu, Jr. (Wilmington, NC), his favorite great grandmother,
Elizabeth Pauline Hamilton Armstrong (Wilmington and Snow Hill, NC), his
cousin, Matthew Owen Peterson (Wilmington, NC), his second mom and nanny,
(whom he actually called “MUMMY” from the moment he learned to talk)
Teresa Penny Hicks (Snow Hill, NC) and his kindred spirit, his loving and forever
doting maternal grandmother, Dorothy Geraldine Armstrong Overby (Snow Hill
and Kinston). They were Mutt and Jeff, truly!
Phillip is survived by his precious son, Matthew Allen Kilpatrick (Kinston, NC),
his devoted and heartbroken mother, Lucinda Bessellieu Minges and his
stepfather, Hoyt Alvin Minges, Jr. (Kinston, NC), his older brother, Justin Rhem
Kilpatrick, and his wife Shelley (Southern Pines, NC). His father, Robert Allen
Kilpatrick and wife, Kathy (Kinston, NC), stepsisters, Holly Minges (Wilmington,
NC), Sloan Minges (Youngsville, NC) and stepbrother, Hoyt Minges, III (Cary, NC).
Left behind is his little rescue kitten Anna Bell, and his best furry friend,
Also, holding his memory closely is his favorite aunt, Margaret Denise Bessellieu
(Wilmington, NC) and his cousins; Michael and Elizabeth Peterson (Wilmington,
Additionally, his cousins, who never failed him, Anna Bessellieu McCauley
(Wilmington, NC), Christopher McCauley (Wilmington, NC) and Samuel
McCauley (Aberdeen, NC).
He is also survived by his great aunt and uncle, who were his cherished
Godparents, Nancy Armstrong Oswald and Jerry Abbott Oswald (Greenville,
A private service is planned.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Heart Association,
The Lenoir County SPCA or someone in need.