December 2, 2004 – January 21, 2019

Pierson Dean Phillips, 14 of Lee’s Summit, MO passed away at home on January 21, 2019 surrounded by his parents, Travis and Hilaire Phillips. 

A visitation will be held Friday, January 25, 2019 from 6-9 p.m. at Nativity of Mary, 10021 E 36th Terr S, Independence, MO 64052. Mass will be held on Saturday, January 26, 2019 at 11 a.m. at the church. 

Pierson was born December 2, 2004 in Kansas City, MO. He was a student at Nativity of Mary and was planning on attending Rockhurst High School in the fall.

Pierson was brave, courageous, strong, kind, loving, and giving. He was not ashamed of his disease and he spoke openly about his battle with mental illness and his mission to change the story for himself and others. At age 9 he was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome and eventually became a Youth Ambassador for the Tourette Association which made it possible for him to travel to Washington D.C. to speak with members of congress concerning issues that were important to him.

He associated with many groups in the Kansas City area and beyond who helped him get his message out, including: The General Federation of Women’s Clubs, Speak Up, Just Like You Films, Inc., Comprehensive Mental Health Services, The Independence Police Department and School district, Lady Gaga’s Born this Way Foundation, and Fox 4. 

In his 14 years, he did more to raise awareness surrounding youth and mental health than many do in their entire lives. His legacy will not be forgotten. His life was meaningful, his spirit and message will live on. It is important to continue his work and encourage our youth to speak up on these important contributions be made in Pierson’s honor to facilitate a scholarship in his name for those who work to educate others and help raise awareness on mental illness and suicide. 

Pierson is survived by his parents, Travis and Hilaire Phillips, his grandmother Carolyn Wheeler of Topeka, KS, his grandfather Jim Wheeler and Nancy Kraft of Sheldon, WI, his grandparents Larry and Sharon Phillips of Olathe, KS and his loving aunts, uncles, and cousins. 

Donations can be made at Community America in the name of Pierson Phillips.

Online condolences may be expressed at

Arrangements: Speaks Chapel, 816-373-3600.