Phil Lineberger loved to laugh. He had an infectious laugh, and you couldn’t help but join him in laughter. Growing up, I always knew when my dad was on the phone with his brother Phil, because he laughed the whole time. The kind of laugh that causes your eyes to tear up and your face and stomach muscles to hurt. It wasn’t hard to locate Phil in a crowded room; you just had to follow the laughter.
Phil loved life, and he loved people. He was magnetic, and after meeting him, you loved him, and he loved you.
Being around Phil was refreshing, because he wasn’t arrogant or a self-promoter. Phil was just a down-to-earth guy. He took a sincere and genuine interest in all he met, and you became one of his 10,000 closest friends. Phil got energy from being around and helping others.
As far back as I can remember, not a week has gone by that I haven’t been asked by someone, “Are you related to Phil?” When I confirm it, a smile appears on their face, and they begin to laugh and tell me stories about Phil—either a joke he had played (the kind of joke that only Phil could get away with) or how he had helped them; many times it was both.
To Phil, your status didn’t matter. He was comfortable talking with the poor or the rich and powerful. On the walls of his office were pictures of Phil with President Carter, President Clinton, President George W. Bush and even evangelist Billy Graham. But underneath the glass on his desk were pictures of the people he held closest to him—his wife, kids, grandkids, siblings, friends and people he’d met and helped on mission trips.
Phil loved his family deeply. He was a great son, brother, husband, father, uncle and grandfather. He especially loved being Papa and telling his grandchildren “Little Papa” stories.
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SOURCE: Baptist Standard