Mr. James R. (Jim) Phillips, 89, of Elkhart, passed away peacefully at Woodland Manor Nursing Facility in Elkhart on Friday, Nov. 8, 2019 at 6:25 am. He was born Oct. 17, 1930 in Chicago, IL to the late James R. and Madeline (Balmert) Phillips, and later married Joanne Vyverman on Jan 24, 1981 in Park Ridge, IL. She survives at home after 38 wonderful years together.
Other survivors include his children Joey, Jimmy, Kathy, Scott (Kate Ferguson), Kristy (Bill) and Matt; beloved grandchildren Mark, Marissa and Rachael and a host of loving extended family and friends. Children Paul and Rebecca Phillips precede Jim in death.
A celebration of Jim’s life will take place at Billings Funeral Home and Cremation Services of Elkhart on Friday, Nov. 15, 2019 at 7:00 pm, with visitation beginning at 6:00 pm. Pastor Tim Sheets of the Northside Church of the Nazarene in Elkhart will officiate and military honors will be rendered by the US Air Force Funeral Honor Guard and Elkhart DAV #19. A second service will be held in Park Ridge, IL on a date which is still pending.
Jim spent many years as a communications director for a Chicago-based fund raising corporation but was recognized locally by generations of Elkhart youths and adults alike who lovingly knew him as “Super Sub”, as Jim also spent many more years as a substitute teacher for the Elkhart Community School System. He taught everything from History to Home Ec at just about every school at every grade level. His familiarity and popularity grew as he became more recognizable with the students over the years and many of them would still greet him as Super Sub if they saw him about even years after graduating. He was also an accomplished saxophone player and was a member of the American Federation of Musicians Union, as he played for several big-name bands while he was still residing in Chicago. In his free time, Jim loved to write, and he produced several novels and plays over the years. He was also an ardent Chicago sports fan, and loved to cheer for his Bears, Cubs and Blackhawks.
Finally, Jim served honorably in the United States Air Force during the Korean War, where his academic talents allowed him to direct and produce Air Force training films.
On-line condolences may reach the family by visiting the funeral home’s website. Memorial donations may be given in Jim’s memory to the charity of one’s choice!
To send flowers to James' family, please visit our floral section.