Although Phillip Lucier’s life ended tragically, he left a powerful legacy of service, both to the Independent Telephone Industry and to his community.
Born into a telephone family, Lucier spent his summers working for United Telephone Company in Indiana and Ohio. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University Of Notre Dame in 1942 with a degree in finance.
During World War II, Lucier was cited for bravery and earned the distinction of being one of the youngest Lieutenant Commander commissioned in the U.S. Naval Reserve. He returned to the telephone industry as a sales representative for Stromberg-Carlson in 1946 and subsequently helped organize and served as vice president of the Telephone Finance Credit Corp.
It was in this position that Lucier excelled in financing loans for Independent Telephone companies, enabling many small rural companies to modernize their facilities. This organizational and financial expertise led Phil Lucier to become co-founder and the first president of Continental Telephone Corporation. He was instrumental in positioning Contel as the fastest growing holding company of its time and ensuring its place in history as the second youngest company ever admitted to New York Stock Exchange.
Lucier’s contributions to the Independent Telephone Industry lay in his financial wizardry and his commitment to service. He wrote many articles concerning the delivery of “good” telephone service to rural areas. He was also co-author of “The Financial Problems of the Independent Industry”, which led to the organization of Stromberg’s Credit Corp. Lucier died on July 24, 1970 at the age of 49, when a bomb exploded in his automobile.