John Richard Phillips, 93, of 7 Marina Park Drive, Frankford, Del., passed away on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019. The only child of Clyde and Simone Phillips, he was born in 1925 and raised in Morgantown, W.Va.
Phillips married his first wife, Marcella Johnson, in 1945, and they soon moved to Corpus Christi, Texas, where their two children, Richard Dale and Aimee Edna, were born. In their new home in South Texas, his professional success grew. Phillips discovered an innate salesmanship and, combined with an earnest desire to help others, became a successful financial planner and stockbroker with Investors Diversified Services, now Ameriprise Financial. Soon, he and Marcella moved their young family further south to Weslaco, near the Mexican border.
In 1969, he returned to Morgantown and married his high-school sweetheart, Joyce Thompson, expanding his family to include her three sons, Truman, Kim and Steven. Shortly thereafter, John and Joyce celebrated the birth of their child John Richard Phillips II and, sometime later, Phillips adopted Joyce’s son, Steven. After surviving Joyce’s death in 2001, Phillips moved to Ocean View, Del., to be close to his daughter, Aimee. There he remarried his first wife, Marcella, eventually outliving her as well.
A born storyteller, Phillips regaled his family and friends with tales of growing up in Depression-era West Virginia. He recounted experiences of his four years serving in the Army Air Corps during World War II, where he trained as a bombardier on the B27 bomber and obtained the rank of master-sergeant. In the early 1950s, he had joined the Air National Guard as a first lieutenant and served for 11 years.
During his retirement in Delaware, he was active in and loved his church family at Bayside Chapel near Selbyville, Del., singing with the Praise Team. He also had been a member of the Elks Lodge 2645 in Ocean City, Md., a lifetime member in the American Legion in Morgantown, W.Va., and of the VFW Post 7234 in Ocean View.
As a father, grandfather and great-grandfather, Phillips was a beloved and cherished man who offered more gifts to his family and friends than he could have imagined. His endless tales, his boundless love of and belief in his family, and his enduring perseverance to be a force of good in the world will remain a lasting legacy.
Phillips is survived by four children, five grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
There will be a celebration-of-life service Sunday, Feb. 24, 2019, at 11 a.m. at Bayside Chapel, Route 54, Selbyville, Del.