Philip Craig Dotts ’72

Philip Craig Dotts, beloved husband, father, brother, and friend, died at home surrounded by his family of women on April 15, 2020. Late last year, he told them, “I deputize you all to tell everyone about my good life. I made a hole-in-one at Pinehurst, I had a wonderful family, and I made great friends.”

So that is what we aim to do here, yet knowing it is impossible to capture what Philip meant to so many people. Philip was a managing director of PFM Financial Advisors in their Huntsville, Alabama, office, which he opened in 2012 after forty years in public and corporate finance work.

A consummate servant leader, Philip served on the boards of First Commercial Bank, the Exchange Bank of Alabama, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama, and many nonprofits, including the Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama, Leadership Alabama, A+ Education Partnership, and Neighborhood Concepts, an organization he formed in 1987 to address housing shortages for low-income Alabamians. He was chairman of the Business Council of Alabama.

Philip graduated from Davidson College in 1972, playing on their 1969 Southern Conference championship football team. He met his wife of nearly fifty years, then Kathleen Wells, at Davidson’s Spring Frolics.

After living in Charlotte, North Carolina, for five years, they moved to Huntsville in 1977 and bought a house from a lovely real estate agent. They soon joined the Episcopal Church of the Nativity.

Philip served on the vestry as senior warden and on the board of the Episcopal Foundation of the Diocese of Alabama. He is buried in Nativity’s memorial garden. Philip was born in 1950 outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He follows his parents, George and Elsie Rowe Dotts, in death.

He is survived by his wife, Kathleen Wells Dotts; his daughter Elizabeth Dotts Fleming and her husband, Patrick; his daughter Sarah Dotts Barley and her husband, Bo; his three grandchildren, Foster Bayne Fleming, Sarah Laughlin Fleming, and Mary Zeanah Barley; and his sister, Joanna Dotts Askins, and her husband, Greg. He was a generous and beloved uncle to many nieces and nephews.

Philip was not one to quote scripture-and when he did, he would often end with “yada, yada, yada”-but instead, he lived the Word quietly: “What doth the Lord require of thee but to do justly and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God ” (Micah 6:8).

In honor of who Philip was, the family asks that donations be made to Boy Scout Troop 400 ( or the Schools Foundation ( in lieu of sending flowers. (Photo courtesy of

Copyright, 2020, Birmingham News. All Rights Reserved.