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Clarence Darrell "Bud" Phillips

Obituary
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Clarence Darrell "Bud" Phillips

AGE: 90 • Cherry Hill

Died Feb 7, 2013. An electronics engineer, he pioneered 20th century radio and TV technologies as tools for education and international development. In the 1950s, he was the first to take TV cameras into a hospital operating room, creating a new teaching tool for the University of Iowa (SUI) medical school and others who followed. The educational TV station he built at SUI was also a first. A National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) member, he was named a Fellow of the National Association of Education Broadcasters (NAEB) at its first TV engineering conference. In 1961 he agreed to build a national radio service in Sudan, working with USAID and the US Embassy, and moved his family to Khartoum. He and his wife said yes because they believed it would be a chance of a lifetime experience for his family. And it was. He crossed the Sahara by Land Rover 3 times, testing radio signals. He recalled stepping across the Nile in a single stride, contrasting it to its mile-wide breadth near Khartoum. In Arabic, he taught Sudanese engineers station maintenance. Today, radio remains USAID's primary educational tool in the new nation of Southern Sudan. He spent a month traveling home with his family through Egypt, Lebanon, Greece, Switzerland, Italy, France, and England, before returning on the SS United States to New York harbor, and they returned with lifelong friendships.

After Africa, he returned to SUI at Iowa City, but in 1965 he was recruited by RCA to provide technical support to the broadcast sales division in Camden, NJ. There his mobile TV vans earned him an international reputation. He sold one to the Shah of Iran and success kept him zigzagging through the Middle East, across Europe, and behind the Iron Curtain to East Germany and Yugoslavia. Retiring from RCA in 1985, he was wooed by universities and contractors in Israel, Geneva, and the U.S. Ultimately, he chose golf. He ran the Washington Twp Golf Course and later worked at the Willowbrook Country Club Pro Shop, in Moorestown. A great putter himself, his part time golf club repair business earned him a treasured PGA membership. Emerging computer technology captured his interest and he built several home computers. His experiments with Internet video phones connected him to school children in Wales who queried him about WW II memories. He studied engineering at Georgia Tech before enlisting in the U.S. Army at the start of WW II (1942). A radar mechanic in the Signal Corps, he was sent to radio school at Providence, RI. His assignments included the setup of early warning stations in the Aleutian Islands of Alaska. Honorably discharged in 1946, he opened a radio repair shop in Waverly, IA. There he met his future wife, Dorothy Diers, a student at Wartburg College who waited tables at his favorite coffee shop. After they wed (1948) she urged him to get his degree using the GI bill. Supporting a growing family, he went to school while working full time as a city policeman and part time at a chicken hatchery. He earned his BS from Wartburg (1952) and moved to Cedar Rapids, IA to teach physics at nearby Marion High School; he coached football and basketball, too.

Born Oct. 14, 1922 during a family visit to Amherst, WI, he was the oldest of three children of Glen and Irene (Swenson) Phillips of Waterloo, IA. His wife of 61 years, Dorothy "Mike" (nee Diers) preceded him in death in 2009. He is survived by 3 of his 6 children: Christopher (Sherry) of Columbia, MD, Jane (Robert Stoelker) of Lindenwold, and Paul of Somerdale; 5 grandchildren, and 5 great-grandchildren. He was pre-deceased by his sons Stephen (Elana) in 1999, Michael in 1980, and daughter Shirley Irene in 1950.

Viewing between 11 a.m. and 12:45 p.m. followed by a funeral service at 1 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15 at St. Michael's Lutheran Church 601 Kings Hwy North, Cherry Hill, NJ. Interment at Colestown Cemetery, CherryHill. Donations may be made to the St. Michael's Lutheran Church - Pastor's Discretionary Fund. The fund provides a means to confidentially meet emergency needs of individuals in crisis. Funeral under the direction of Dank-Hinski Funeral Home, Lindenwold. Condolences may be offered at www.dankshinskifuneralhome.com

Published in Courier-Post on Feb. 12, 2013
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