John Edward Phillips Jr.
April 24, 1940 – June 2, 2019
John Edward Phillips, Jr., 79 of Dallas, Texas, passed away from respiratory failure on Sunday, June 2, 2019, at Medical City Plano surrounded by his devoted and beloved family.
There are certain people who just light up a room - and the rest of us can’t help but gravitate to the joy and kindness they radiate. John Phillips was one of those people. John brought laughter and love into every room, conversation and relationship he entered.
He had a lifelong mischievous sense of humor, and no one could lead a person down the primrose path like John. He loved a good joke and a good story, and he told them all with a twinkle in his eye and a sly grin on his face. He loved to spin yarns to his children and grandchildren and had quite a successful run of it - until eventually they all figured out his “tell” and realized that when dad/grandpa’s nostrils started to flare - he was pulling your leg.
Born April 24, 1940, in New Philadelphia, Ohio, John married the love of his life, his Dover girl Joan, and they had three children Cathy, John “JP,” and Mark. John adored his children and their spouses Denis, Karen and Kelly; and he was an engaged, supportive and enthusiastic grandpa to his six grandchildren Claire, Eleanor, Johnnie, Sophie, Jack and Sami. But his greatest love was for his wife Joanie, who was always by his side for more than 64 years.
John graduated from The Ohio State University in 1964 with a degree in finance, and was an avid, lifelong fan of Buckeye football. His career as a financial executive took him to several states throughout the years and in 1979, John and Joan moved their family from Ohio to California and lived there for almost 40 years before moving to Dallas in 2018 to a retirement community closer to their daughter.
John and his wife loved their years in California. He had several great buddies there, who, after retiring, loved to go for long car rides together all over the beautiful Bay Area and stop for lunch at fun roadside restaurants.
He and Joan also loved their condo at Maui Kaanapali Villas, near Lahaina, where they stayed several months every year for 20 years. John was the treasurer on the condo board for many years and unofficially known as “the mayor of MKV.” He loved Maui and their best friends there, Bob and Karen. The four of them played card games and dominoes almost every night and fought hard every year for bragging rights to the Camp Maui coconut trophy. John and Bob were always on the hunt for the perfect pina colada and unstirred mai tai, and vastly amused themselves with silly pranks throughout their many years there together.
A true renaissance man, John loved to write short poems and stories (mostly about his family), play cards and games (especially with his family), and was an avid reader. Over the years, he played the piano, guitar, ukulele and even the accordion. He loved to sing and harmonize with any and all songs (Jimmy Buffett, show tunes and Guns ’n Roses were all equally in play). He also liked to draw, play chess, play the stock market and work on cars - especially the ’65 and ’71 corvettes he and Joan owned for many years. He was always, always interested in learning.
It’s so hard to capture the true spirit of a man who was so kind and gentle and loving. But we believe his greatest legacy is this: he and Joan created a family that loves to spend time together. We love each other and love being in each other’s company. As we now have to move forward without him, it’s clear to see that it’s one of the greatest gifts he gave us.
John’s family will host a Celebration of Life in mid-August in Saratoga, California. Please contact John's daughter Cathy at firstname.lastname@example.org, or daughter-in-law Kelly at email@example.com for more information.
All who knew and loved John are invited to join us as we raise a glass of Wild Turkey 101 to toast the well-lived life of a wonderful man.
Ted Dickey West Funeral Home in Dallas, Texas has charge of arrangements.
No services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
John Edward Phillips Jr.
Jean Ann and Jim Alter
June 16, 2019
The Gambles were a family of seven, but John’s mom and her siblings each had only one or two children. The three sisters who lived in New Philadelphia raised each reared only children. Cousins were the siblings for this clan and also for the cousin from Canton. Six years younger than John and Vickie Cheslock Burnhouse, I was the little cousin. John was always kind unless he was making up stories about skeletons whose bones dripped blood and lived in the attic above my bedroom. I think he could easily have made a career as a screenwriter. His mom Rose was probably each of the Gamble girl’s favorite sister. Her even temper and open welcome encouraged visits even when small children had to run the gauntlet of Johns’s ankle biting Pekinese, Laddie.
John grew up, married Joan, and moved away. Other than a couple of short visits at his mom’s when Cathy was small, I did not see John until he made his way to Juneau on a cruise ship. Actually, he and Joan came twice, always cleverly choosing the rainiest days. We reconnected on Maui when Joan and John graciously hosted us for Super Bowl Sunday and invited us to join their yearly valentine’s celebration. They even shared their special friends, Karen and Bob. It was a joy to meet all of John and Joan’s wonderful children.
John’s passing leaves a hole in both Jim and my hearts. It is hard to believe that anyone who could be so vital what seems like a minute ago can be gone. We send our love to Joan and all the rest of the family. You were lucky to have John as he was lucky to have you. We know your memories will sustain you.
Jean Ann and Jim Alter
June 9, 2019
John and I were cousins born in April twenty days apart. We spent countless hours growing up playing Monopoly, going to Tuscora Park for cotton candy and, later, riding around in his fancy car to the Quick Shake. We loved to tease one another. I was the old, old cousin and he was the young, young one.
When John married Joan he chose the best and she remained the best all through his life.
I can't say enough good things about John. There are so many. He could turn a bad day into a party.
I'm really going to miss him.
John's phone calls and emails to me always ended with "I'm only a phone call away" and "Love you Cuz."
I think John will be manning the phones on a Star Line and his emails will be in the Cloud!
Love you Cuz!
June 6, 2019
We were kids together, and of course we did some mischief and had some fun. John wasn't above smuggling a trunk full of his buddies into the local drive in theater and many other teenage pranks.
Johnny was a awesome guy. He overcame tremendous obstacles and bore great pain and he did it all with a sly grin and twinkle in his eye. A lesser kid would have given up in despair, not Johnny. He was the most resilient person I have ever known. While others whined and complained about their problems Johnny was always smiling and joking as if he didn't have any. He was a fun guy. I loved him like a brother as did so many. He brought mirth and joy to all. He's irreplaceable.
The Buckeye nation will never be the same without Johnny!
June 5, 2019
I met John in 2000 when we both served on the Board of Managers at Maui Kaanapali Villas and was so impressed with his ability to handle the numbers for a large 260 condo association. We became close friends and have been so until his passing. He was on the current board and finance committee and contributed again on a daily basis to the welfare of all the owners.
My wife and I shall miss John and feel Joan, his wife should be sainted for her loving care of John
May God welcome you and turn over the accounting because it will be done right.