Karin Phillips, 53, of Mount Laurel, a familiar voice on KYW Newsradio as its community-affairs reporter, died Tuesday, Sept. 13, after a brief illness.
Ms. Phillips started at KYW in 1979 as a production assistant soon after graduating from Rutgers University. She was a longtime editor before becoming the community-affairs reporter in the late 1990s, said Steve Butler, KYW's director of news and programming.
She had been out sick recently, Butler said. Her last day at work was before Labor Day weekend and her last report, about a Holocaust survivor, was broadcast Sept. 6.
Ms. Phillips' death "was a tremendous shock," Butler said. "I don't think anybody believed she was in a life-threatening situation."
On the community-affairs beat, she often reported uplifting stories about organizations, events, and people "that shed light on the great work that they did," Butler said.
Cari Feiler Bender, who handles public relations for nonprofits, said Ms. Phillips' "voice, commitment, and passion will be missed."
Ms. Phillips had "a passion for Philadelphia like few others. She wanted to tell those untold stories of community groups, nonprofits, neighborhood leaders, and unsung heroes to the entire region," Bender said.
E. Steven Collins, a talk-show host on WRNB-FM (100.3), said that Ms. Phillips "presented and represented African American people in the tristate area and journalism all over the country in an unmatched way."
Ms. Phillips graduated from John F. Kennedy High School in Willingboro. Before joining KYW, she was a reporter at the Burlington County Times.
She taught broadcast journalism at her alma mater, where she majored in English and Spanish with a minor in journalism. She earned a master's degree at Rutgers in 1998.
In 2009, the Philadelphia Human Relations Commission gave Ms. Phillips its Human Rights Award for Arts and Culture. She was a member of the Christian Bell Choir of Burlington County.
Ms. Phillips is survived by her mother and brother, Butler said. Funeral arrangements were pending.