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.
Contact staff writer Robert Moran at 215-854-5983 or firstname.lastname@example.org.