Dr. Philip 'Phil' Washington Fairey, Jr.,
94, Columbia Urological Associates co-founder
Dr. Philip “Phil” Washington Fairey Jr., of Columbia, followed his dear wife Harriet in death on April 11, 2015. He was 94.
Phil was born to Isabel Strait Fairey and Philip Washington Fairey Sr. on May 22, 1920. He was oldest of four sons and grew up in St. Matthews with his brothers Frank, Joe and John. His father sold automobiles but Phil, on the advice of a great-uncle and following in the footsteps of his grandfather, decided to attend medical school. After completing Clemson College he attended the Medical College of S.C.
While at MUSC in the summer of 1942, he met and later married Harriet Harrington Gage who was to be the focus of his love and devotion for the next 70-plus years. They married in September of 1943 and their union would bring six children into the world.
After MUSC, Phil served in the U.S. Army Medical Corps during WWII and then served for a year in Germany. Upon returning Phil began a general practice in Honea Path until 1948 when the family moved to Detroit for a residency in urology under Dr. John Ormond. The family moved to Columbia in 1951 and Phil joined Dr. William Barron in forming a urology practice that would become Columbia Urological Associates. He practiced urology for 35 years, serving as president of the Columbia Medical Society in 1975.
Upon his retirement Phil volunteered as a worker/guide at the Congaree Swamp in addition to many other endeavors. Beginning in the 1950s, Phil along with Dr. George Brunson, Dr. George Bunch, Dr. Dana Mitchell and Mr. Jack Tobias spent a week of every February in the Bahamas fishing. They kept their exploits quiet, but we all knew it was a highlight of their year.
Phil was a naturalist – grafting camellias to create new varieties, including his favorite, the Harriet Fairey. He imparted his love of plants to his children and to a grandson who works in a career implementing Phil’s horticultural expertise.
Phil is survived by his brother, his five children and 19 great-grandchildren, aged 21 years to 4 months.
Phil lived his life learning – at the very end of his life he enjoyed attending history lectures and lively discussions. But through it all his existence centered on his love for Harriet. He spent his last two years sitting every day at her bedside holding her hand and talking to her while she lived in the Still Hopes Skilled Nursing Unit. Her death, three weeks before his, was while he was sitting at her side. An inquisitive soul who inspired all those who knew him.
The family wishes to express their gratefulness to the staff at Still Hopes and Solutions at Still Hopes who provided such kind and gentle care to Harriet and Phil.
Contributions in Phil’s memory may be designated to the MUSC Foundation for the Fairey/Strait Medical Heritage Scholarship, 18 Bee St., MUSC 450, Charleston, SC 29425 or a charity of your choosing.
The family will receive visitors from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 14, 2015, at the Still Hopes Mansion at Still Hopes. A private family ceremony will be held at West End Cemetery in St. Matthews at a later date.
Obituary published on ColaDaily.com - your source for free news and information in Columbia and the Midlands.
Harriet Harrington Gage Fairey
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