Philip Secrist: Civil War historian was 80





Philip Lee Secrist loved the Civil War and everything about it.

He displayed a collection of relics and artifacts at his Marietta home. He wrote two books on the war and taught history 48 years at the high school and college level.

“His passion for his life and career was all about the Civil War,” said his daughter Barbera Secrist Schmedes of Marietta. “I can remember very well as a child that every summer vacation entailed a visit to some Civil War battlefield here in the South. He did a lot of digging and detecting to find things. Of course, this was before they had rules and regulations on that kind of thing.”

His two daughters weren’t too thrilled about scrounging battlefields, but everybody else was in seventh heaven, said his wife of 59 years, Kay Secrist of Marietta.

“Phil and the boys and I loved it,” she said. “Both boys had metal detectors. It was a lot of fun.”

Mr. Secrist, 80, of Marietta died Thursday at his home. A memorial service will be at 10 am. Sept. 15 at Mayes Ward-Dobbins Funeral Home.

Mr. Secrist served as chairman of the Cobb County Commission from 1989 to 1992, elected as a little known historian by voters tired of political infighting.

His was ousted in the July 1992 primary by Bill Byrne, who went on to capture the county’s top job.


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