Obituaries: Phillips & Jordan Chief Ted Phillips Sr, 87; Ted Harris, Atlanta Design Firm CEO, 53; and Earl Korynta, Alaska aviation designer, 74
William T. Phillips Sr., 87, a founder of Knoxville, Tenn.-based heavy civil and emergency response contractor Phillips & Jordan Inc. who led it for more than 50 years, died on July 30 in that city after an extended illness, the company said.
Co-founding the firm in 1952, he served as president and chairman until 2010 and as a director and chairman emeritus until his death.
Phillips sold P&J to publicly traded energy firm Kaneb Services Inc. in 1971 but bought it back 14 years later. The contractor ranks at No. 173 on ENR’s Top 400 Contractors list, reporting $500 million in 2017 revenue.
According to the company, P&J projects include land clearing for a large portion of the West Virginia Turnpike and Flaming Gorge Reservoir, the largest reservoir in Wyoming with over 42,000 acres of surface area, both in the 1950s; construction of Ray Roberts Dam in Denton, Texas, which at 141 feet high and over two miles long, was the largest U.S. earthen dam when built in 1987; and cleanup after disasters, including many U.S. storms and tornadoes, the 9/11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York City in 2001 and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.
Phillips also was a real estate investor and developer of shopping centers, says the firm.
Edward F. “Ted” Harris, 53, a structural engineer and president and CEO of Freeland Harris Consulting Engineers of Georgia, died May 17 in a car accident in Atlanta. A spokeswoman says the firm will close, but Freeland Harris Consulting Engineers of Kentucky, created in a 1996 reorganization and separately owned, remains open.
Stephen Gray, CEO of Gray Construction, with which Harris frequently worked on indus trial projects, said the engineer "always put the team first and his easy smile masked a fiery and competitive spirit that many times proved the edge for project wins.”
Earl D. Korynta, 74, who co-founded Anchorage, Alaska-based engineer USKH and led numerous aviation and other state infrastructure projects, died there on Jan. 26, ENR has recently learned. The cause of death was not disclosed.
Named ENR Northwest’s Legacy Award winner in 2017, he was a founder and first president of the Alaska Professional Design Council and former president of the American Society of Civil Engineers-Alaska section,
USKH was acquired by Stantec in 2014.