The Pittsburgh Foundation

B.D. Phillips Jr. & Lauretta G. Phillips Philanthropic Fund

Established: 11/5/2009

Benjamin D. Phillips was the president of his oil and gas company when he first laid eyes on his future wife, Lauretta, then an employee at Pittsburgh National Bank. He immediately asked her out on a date.

The couple eventually married and enjoyed 40 years together. During those years, they shared a passion for the community of Butler, where they were both born and raised, becoming well known boosters of organizations that promoted the health and welfare of the area. 

"We were both brought up to care about our neighbors so we wanted to help people in the Butler community as best we could," said Lauretta. "It was and is the right thing to do."

In 1993 Benjamin established 10 funds with The Pittsburgh Foundation in support of Butler County organizations. In 2009, Lauretta created this fund to honor her husband and Butler County.  

From an early age Benjamin worked for the family company, T.W. Phillips Gas and Oil, laying pipe and drilling wells. By the time he became President of the company in 1968, he was  well-versed in both the affairs of the business and customer service. He also had garnered a reputation as the feisty scion of the family. 

Benjamin lived in Butler most of his life, leaving twice to attend military academy and business school in Cambridge, Mass. Lauretta attended the one room Lindsey School on Freeport Road and graduated from Butler High School in 1947. She worked at Pittsburgh National Bank and loved her flower gardens, playing golf and bridge; she was also an excellent cook and seamstress.

Benjamin died on October 14, 1999, at the age of 85. Lauretta passed away March 9, 2012, at the age of 82.

Type of Fund

  • Advised