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James R. Phillips

Iowa City

James R. Phillips, 71, of Iowa City, passed away at home on Tuesday, May 1, 2018, after a long battle with cancer.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at noon Saturday, May 5, 2018, at St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church, Iowa City. Visitation will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, May 4, 2018, at Lensing Funeral & Cremation Service, Iowa City, with a vigil service at 7 p.m. Burial will be in St. Joseph Cemetery, Iowa City, with military rites provided by the Coralville American Legion, assisted by other local military organizations.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Iowa City Hospice or the University of Iowa Foundation, Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Jim was born on May 18, 1946, in Clinton, Iowa, the youngest of 10 children to Joseph and Janet (Penney) Phillips. He lived in Maquoketa, Iowa, and graduated high school in 1964. Jim graduated with a bachelor's degree in 1969 from the University of Iowa and was drafted into the U.S. Army and served in the Vietnam War, receiving a Purple Heart, Air Medal and Army Commendation Medal. He was assigned to the 75th Ranger Regiment, Company K, attached to the 4th Infantry Division. Jim returned to the University of Iowa and received his master's in electrical engineering. While obtaining his master's degree, he started working for the University of Iowa Department of Physics and Astronomy and stayed there for almost 50 years. Jim was united in marriage to Janis Fields at St. Wenceslaus Church in Cedar Rapids on June 29, 1974. After retirement he returned "part-time" and worked as much as his health allowed; he loved his job and the people he worked with made his area accessible to him, so he could work as long as possible. Jim worked on the Iowa Foil printer with Dan Wenman and Virginia Myers. He also enjoyed working on electric vehicles. He sang with the University of Iowa hospital volunteer group "The Heartbeats." Jim also ushered, sang in the choir and played guitar at church. He was a member of St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church, Knights of Columbus and American Legion.
Jim is survived by his wife, Janis Phillips; two sons, Mark (Angela) Phillips of Iowa City and Ryan Phillips of Cedar Rapids; two step-grandchildren, Arys and Dell Brackett; siblings, Dorothy (Elmer) Hasenmiller of Grand Mound, Paul (Janie) Phillips of Succasunna, N.J., Pauline (Duane) Prew of Shoreview, Minn., and Pat (Glen) Hotchkiss of Bettendorf, Iowa; and brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, Beverly (Gary) Montague of Cedar Rapids and Dewayne (Debbie) Fields of Marion.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents; siblings, Mary Helen (Everett) Clark, Robert Phillips, Lois (Jim) Ales, Jackie Phillips and Janet Wahl; father-in-law and mother-in-law, Arnold and Marie Fields; and brother-in-law, Tom Fields.
Online condolences may be left for the family at www.lensingfuneral.com.