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James "Jim" Phillips

Marion-James (Jim) Phillips, 70, formerly Carbondale, passed away at 10:02 p.m., Monday, August 14, 2017 in Herrin Hospital due to complications following surgery. Jim was born January 27, 1947 in Carbondale to John Henry Phillips and Reba Blonn (Frey) Phillips. Survivors include a sister, Doloris Jean Page of Marion and brother Jerry L. Phillips of Carbondale. Nephews Randy and Rick Hilliard both of Marion. Nieces Robin Girardi of Marietta, GA and Jacque Hobbs of Oran, MO. Aunt and uncle Mary Nell (Frey) and Lowell Gene Roberts of Birmingham, AL. Several Cousins, great nieces and nephews survive. Jim was preceded in death by his parents, one sister, Joyce Ann Stanley and three brothers-in-law Richard (Dick) Hilliard, Carl Lee Page, both of Marion and Jack Stanley of Crab Orchard. One niece, Carla Jean Craig of West Frankfort. Jim started his early education years in Marion and continued in Carbondale when his parents and family moved to Carbondale at the age of eight. He attended Lincoln Elementary, Lincoln Junior High and Carbondale Community High School. During his school years, Jim was known as a skilled athlete earning numerous sports letters in baseball and basketball. After finishing high school at CCHS in 1965 and before joining the Air Force in 1965, Jim played fast pitch softball with many of his high school buddies for the New Era 4-H Club. This very talented 4-H team advanced to the Illinois State Tournament in Springfield, IL, culminating in the defeat of the defending state championship team from LaSalle Peru thus capturing the state championship title for the New Era club. Jim was one of the two starting pitchers for New Era. Jim's tour of duty with the Air Force started 9/1/66 and ended with an honorable discharge on 8/31/70. He attained the rank of Sargent E-4 as an Aircraft Control and Warning Operator. Jim was able to keep his softball playing days alive while being stationed in Jacksonville, FL with a traveling team that played all over the southeast region of the United States. Upon completion of his military service, Jim returned to Carbondale working twenty plus years in the sales and service area including bar tending, auto and mobile homes sales, food and beverage management for military affiliated and fraternal clubs. As many of his friends during his early years would attest to, Jim was ideally suited for this line of work due to his outgoing personality. He always had a story or a joke to entertain friends, family, customers or anyone close enough to hear. Jim had the uncanny ability to remember more funny stories, jokes, sports and movie trivia than anyone that knew him thought possible. Entertaining was his passion. Unfortunately, at the age of 47, Jim suffered a stroke. The result of his stroke was a medical condition called, "Aphasia", which causes problems with speech, listening, reading and writing. A very cruel blow for someone whose passion was these very things. Jim spent the next few years in therapy learning to improve his speech, memory, reading and writing the best he could, given his diminished capacity. Over the last 23 years of his life, Jim fought through numerous health issues including diabetes, colon cancer, open heart by-pass surgery and renal failure. Throughout all his health problems he persevered and attempted to live a normal, although subdued, life as best he could. He lived on his own and drove a car until recently. At the time of his death Jim was in Herrin Hospital attempting to recover from amputation of his left leg due to diabetes related complications. He spent 12 days in ICU after surgery fighting for his life. Unfortunately, his numerous health issues were too much for him to overcome. Rest in peace my brother, there's family and friends on the other side waiting to be entertained. Graveside services with military rites will be held at 11:00 a.m., Wednesday, August 23, 2017 at the Egyptian Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Energy, IL. Family and friends are asked to meet directly at the cemetery. Blue Funeral Home in Marion is assisting the family with arrangements. Memorials may be made to the American Diabetes Association or charity of choice and will be accepted at Blue Funeral Home/PO Box 411/Marion, IL 62959.

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A candle was lit in memory of James Phillips

Kyle Phillips Jun 21 2022 7:42 AM