James Clifford Phillips

March 1, 1935March 23, 2013
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Graveside services for James Clifford Phillips, 78, of Decatur will be at 2 p.m. Wednesday, March 27, 2013, at Roselawn Cemetery, the Revs. Bobby Ray Halbrooks and Dean Bowers officiating.

Roselawn Funeral Home in Decatur is in charge of arrangements.

Mr. Phillips, who died Saturday, March 23, at his home, was born March 1, 1935, in Morgan County to Herman Phillips and Roselle Riley Phillips. He was a longtime member of St. Luke United Methodist Church. He was retired from owning and operating Funland Park for 40 years. James loved working, traveling, family, friends and Alabama football, and his four-legged companion, Booger Bear.

James grew up in Decatur and played football for Shorty Ogle (coach) for the Decatur Red Raiders. After school, he did his tour of duty in the Airborne and was stationed in Munich, Germany, for two years. James had a passionate love for rollerskating. As a young child, he worked for Mr. Hudson and Mr. Rost in the old tin skating rink at the end of Second Ave. He received no pay, but was allowed to skate free. He also worked at Hatfield Roller Rink. In 1961, he opened “Phillips Rollercade” on 14th St. In 1968, he bought property across the street and started Funland Park. He opened “Skate Center” in 1974, and later he built and opened “Skate Castle” in 1981.

James had a special love for people, but especially for his customers and his employees. He dearly loved children. He always strived to provide a clean, fun and safe place for everyone to come to. He was always a gentleman with great respect for everyone. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him. He always said he was blessed to have such a wonderful family and so many cherished friends.

He is survived by his loving wife, Donna Jones Phillips; a son, J.A. Phillips (Kim); two granddaughters, Erin Phillips and Jamie Phillips, all whom he loved and adored; two sisters, Edna Phillips Smith of Snellville, Ga., and Wilner Phillips Royce of Fayettville, Ark.; his mother-in-law, Ann O. Jones of West Point; a sister-in-law, Denise Bice Jones of West Point; and several special nieces, nephews and cousins. Also, a very special dear friend and employee for the last 28 years, Donnie Farris of Decatur.

He was preceded in death by his father, Herman Phillips; his mother, Roselle Riley Phillips; a brother, Atlee “Dopey” Phillips; and two sisters, Geneva Phillips Elswick of Decatur and Alteen Phillips Johnson of Enterprise, Ala.

Pallbearers will be Bill Brazier, Terry Taylor, Lynn Layton, Carlton Moore, H.M. Nowlin, Walter Wright, Herman Moore Jr., and Randy Barnes.

Honorary pallbearers will be Bill Jones, Jim Mynes, Herman Moore Jr., Randy Barnes, Jim Shepard, Paul Scott and Dr. Jay Solorio.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be made to the Alzheimers Association or Hospice of the Valley.

Visitation will be from 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday at Funland Skate Castle, 401 14th St. SE, Decatur, AL 35601.


  • Visitation Tuesday, March 26, 2013
  • Visitation Tuesday, March 26, 2013
  • Graveside Service Wednesday, March 27, 2013
  • Graveside Service Wednesday, March 27, 2013

James Clifford Phillips

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Karen Raney wooldridge

October 1, 2013

JA and family,
I was very sad to hear about James passing. I realize that is October already, but I live out of state and learned about it via facebook. James brought so many memorable moments to everyone's lives young and old. I remember cutting his hair. He was my favorite patron. So I hope God will wrap his loving arms around your entire family to give you all the strength to get through your difficult times. Sincerely Karen

Kelly Jo Portwood/Moore

October 1, 2013

Hey J.A. and all... I know that this is a few months after the loss of your Dad, but I just wanted to let you know that your Dad was a huge part of my growing up!! I LOVED and so looked forward to EVERY single Saturday and coming to hang out with you and your Dad at the skating rink on 14th St... ALSO Ed, the ref, teaching me all the most up to date routines!! Your Dad is and will be missed.. LOVE to you all. Thanks so much for continuing your Dad's dream...

Jessica Zaragosa

August 5, 2013


jimmy terry

March 30, 2013

sorry for your loss donna

Vonda Sutton Winchester

March 29, 2013

My family has you all in our thoughts and prayers. I don't have to tell you what a wonderful man Mr. James was. He will be missed by the thousands whose lives he touched, as only he could do.

Jane Orr

March 29, 2013

Phillips family I am so sorry for you loss. James was such a wonderful man who has touched so many lives of children as well as adults. I worked for James many many years ago and he was always so nice to me. James will be greatly missed for by so many people. May God put his arm around you now and the days ahead.

marsha stephenson

March 28, 2013

Sorry to hear about James. Many good memories of skating rink. He will be dearly missed.

March 28, 2013

I knew James from many years ago when I lived in Decatur, such a wonderful person and man. The world was a better place because we had James, he will be missed by many.

Debbie Cooper

March 28, 2013

When I was growing up in Decatur, some of my fondest memories were from the skating rink. James was always a very nice man, and a wonderful skater. Thanks so much for the great memories, and may God bless his family who grieve his loss.

Sammy Woody

March 27, 2013

My heart is heavy hearing this sad news. James was such a gracious, kind person who I have admired since i was a young boy. My time playing and working for him at the rink helped shape my early years. He will truly be missed and my thoughts and prayers are with JA, Donna and all his family. Rest in peace James.