James Paul Phillips (Jim) was a loving, generous and patient soul who was born in Waukon, Iowa on April 10, 1931 to Harriet and William C. Phillips. He was the youngest of three children (Virginia and Joan, each preceded in death) and he passed peacefully on Labor Day, September 6, 2021 at age 90.
In his youth, times were lean, but the family formed an everlasting bond, one that Jim cherished his entire life and unquestionably led to his commitment to family.
Jim attended high school in Milwaukee, WI and after high school, headed west to college at the University of Idaho (Moscow). Thereafter, he joined the USAF, served in the Korean War and left the military after “eight years, five months and three days” of service at the rank of Captain, having been last-stationed at Mather AFB in Sacramento, CA.
Jim resided in Sacramento for the next 30+ years leading a full and successful life. While there he completed his collegiate studies, earned an MBA from California State University, Sacramento and worked for the State of California (Dept of Finance) for over 30 years.
At a chance dental appointment in 1961 he met Helen DeGroat, who was the love of his life. They were married for over 60 years and raised two wonderful sons together. In his spare time, Jim was involved with church choirs, barbershop quartets, and just plain old singing in church. Over the years, he never met a football pool or “fantasy football team” that he didn’t like, and often conducted considerable research to prevail!! Jim played countless hours of catch with his kids and wholeheartedly supported their lives. Jim eventually retired from the State of California in 1995 and moved to St. George, UT, where he would spend his remaining years.
In St. George, he and Helen enjoyed a great retirement lifestyle. They were active in cruises, golf, tennis, church, Gideon’s (placing bibles in hotel rooms) and other social activities. They enjoyed visits back to Sacramento, up to Park City and any time they could share with their five beautiful grandchildren.
Jim is survived by his wife Helen; sons Jim (Olga and former wife Lesley) and John (Andrea); and five grandchildren: Daniel, Sophia, Robin, Hannah and Emme.
The family will hold a private service at a later date and Jim’s ashes will be interred at the Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Boulder City, NV.
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