John C. Phillips
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John C. Phillips died on November 7, 2013 at Iowa Methodist Medical Center. The memorial service will be 11 a.m. Tuesday, November 12 at Westminster Presbyterian Church. A private family burial will precede the memorial service.
John was born April 25, 1923 in Henry, Illinois to Clarence (Cop) and Orpha Phillips. He graduated from West High School, Class of 1941, in Waterloo, Iowa. He enlisted in the U.S. Army as a private in the AntiAircraft Artillary, was commissioned in the AAA September, 1943 and then transferred to Infantry in 1944. He fought in the Battle of the Bulge in Belgium, was wounded and taken as a Prisoner of War by the Germans. His experience during that time and his liberation at Mooseberg, Germany by General George Patton, 14th Armored Division, has been well documented. Through interviews, television appearances and numerous speeches to schools, church groups and clubs; as well as inclusion in the book, "A Full Measure" by Norman Rudi, John's story has been told. He received a honorable discharge in 1946 with the rank of Captain. John was awarded the Combat Infantryman's Badge, a Purple Heart, Bronze Star Medal, Prisoner of War Medal and the European Theatre Ribbon with three battle stars for his military service.
Following his discharge, John attended the University of Iowa as part of the Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity, where he received his Bachelor of Science. John married Louise Wadleigh of Algona, Iowa on September 6, 1947. His business career included a position as Vice President-Treasurer of Iowa Machinery & Supply Company, Inc. and on the board of several affiliated companies, including Plumber's Supply Company in Iowa City. After Iowa Machinery sold, John held the position of manager for the Iowa Retail Hardware Association.
John was a fifty-year member of the Acanthus Lodge, as well as a lifetime member of the Kiwanis International. As an active participant in the community, John served on charitable organization boards such as Salvation Army and Goodwill Industries. In addition, he held president and chair positions within his high school student body, booster clubs, distributors' associations, the National Association of Credit Management, the Downtown Kiwanis and Westminster Presbyterian Men's Club and Board of Trustees. Westminster Presbyterian Church has been his place of worship for over fifty years.
Throughout his life, John was a "rabid Iowa Hawkeye fan." He enjoyed playing golf, tennis, bike riding and travel with his family. He was especially proud to serve twenty three years as a Drake Relays Official - finish judge.
Those left to cherish John's memory include his wife of 66 years, Louise; his daughters, Sharon (Mike) Monferdini of Colorado Springs, CO and Susan (Chris) Larsen of Houston, Texas; and six nieces and nephews throughout the country. Preceding him in death were his parents; and his brothers, Clark and William.
The family requests that any memorials be made to the Iowa Gold Star Military Museum.
Iles Funeral Home - Westover Chapel
6337 Hickman Road
Des Moines, IA 50322
Published in Des Moines Register on Nov. 10, 2013