James Lee Phillips
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James Lee Phillips passed away on February 4th, 2020. He was born in Jamestown, New York on April 18, 1933.
After graduating from Jamestown High School and Denison University, he was commissioned to military service in 1955 and served as a pilot in the United States Air Force for 11 years, with 1 year and 8 months overseas. He served in the Vietnam War, receiving the air medal of honor with two Oak Leaf Clusters, and attained the rank of Major before resigning in 1967. Affirmation of his valor resonates in this correspondence from his Rear Echelon Commander and Deputy Commander, which reads, "Captain Phillips' crew's efficiency and experienced technique resulted in saving a fighter and pilot which would have been lost. It is with a sense of personal pride in the professionalism and outstanding ability of Captain Phillips' crew [...] that I commend them to your attention for a job well done."
In 1967, he became a commercial pilot for Eastern Airlines, a position he held for over 20 years ultimately retiring as a Captain. The family continues to reminisce in good humor over his many memories of flying, including when he was hijacked en route from New York to Miami, ending up in Cuba, returning with several mementos for his daughters.
He was an avid player of tennis and golf, known for his competitive spirit and impeccable work ethic. His years after retirement were spent lovingly with great friends and family in Roswell, Georgia; his home for 33 years.
His memorial would not be complete without the honoring of his loving wife of 44 years, Sally May Phillips. Their marriage was filled with love and laughter, spent traveling the world, including their regular visits to Hilton Head Island.
He is preceded in death by his parents Judge McKinley L. and Lillian M. Phillips and his sister Dianne W. Gleeson.
He is survived by his brother David M. Phillips (Caroline), daughters Susan Phillips Jones, Laurie Phillips Beatty, Carla Lee Palmer and son Ken Lee. Along with his 7 grandchildren, who lovingly referred to him as "Boompa"; Alexandra Lee Beatty, Jesse Beatty, Bryan Jones (Deirdre), Wesley Jones, Anslee Palmer, Emma Palmer, and Lilly Lee.
A military service was held on February 7th.
We love you Jim, Dad, Boompa, always.