Legal 02

Steven Edward Philo

December 24, 1942 ~ July 21, 2019 (age 76)

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Steven Edward Philo, 76, passed away Sunday, July 21, 2019. Mr. Philo was born December 24, 1942 in Winston Salem, NC to the late Madeline Pressley Philo and Leonard Edward Philo. Mr. Philo was a 1965 graduate of West Point, was an Army Ranger and a Vietnam Veteran. He served 5 years in the US Army, leaving the service at the mark of Captain.


Subsequently he graduated from Wake Forest Law School and worked in Winston Salem for Hudson Petrie Law Firm before moving to Franklin, NC in 1978 and working with multiple lawyers in town before partnering with David Spivey for the past 37 years.


His passions included teaching legal classes at Southwestern Community College. He managed the Cherokee Indian Reservation Drug Court. He proudly served as the inaugural Judgeship for the Cherokee Indian Reservation Drug Court. His other giving passion was serving as an assistant coach to Coach David Morgan for more than 10 years with the cross country and track teams which won multiple championships that included a NC State Championship. Steve was also a NC State Basketball official for over 10 years. He was an active member of Alcoholic Anonymous and had over 35 years of sobriety. He loved mentoring youth athletics, young adults and other recovering alcoholics. He was active in the NC State Alcohol and Drug Rehab program for other attorneys.


His hobbies included telling jokes, working in his yard, Pink Floyd, antiquing, and traveling.


He was preceded in death by his parents and his first wife of 51 years, Molly Thornton Philo. Survivors include his wife Sonya Philo of Franklin, NC; his sister, Diane Philo Joyce of Winston-Salem, NC. His son, Dr. Leonard Edward Philo and wife, Jennifer; Grandson, Steven Edward Philo and Granddaughter, Kathleen Elizabeth Philo of San Diego, CA. Nephew Brian Louis Joyce and wife, Irene and Niece, Jennifer Merrell Joyce also of Winston Salem, NC.


A celebration of life will be held at First United Methodist Church, Saturday, August 3, 2019 at 2:00PM.


Online condolences can be left at


Bryant-Grant Funeral Home is serving the Philo family.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Steven Edward Philo, please visit our floral store.


Memorial Service
August 3, 2019

2:00 PM
First United Methodist Church Franklin.
66 Harrison Ave
Franklin, NC 28734

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