William Royal Phillips of Auburn, California, died Thursday, January 3, 2013 at UC Davis Medical Center, from complications of acute myeloid leukemia. Bill was surrounded by his loved ones at the time of his passing.
Bill was born to Lt. Colonel and Mrs. Royal E. Phillips in Roseboro, N.C., on September 25, 1942. He was graduated from the University of N.C. at Chapel Hill and also from the Law School at UNC Chapel Hill. He also received his advanced law degree from George Washington University School of Law. He was a member of the State Bars of N.C. and Calif. Bill began his career as an attorney in the Judge Advocate General division of the U.S. Air Force
and continued to serve his country proudly for ten years.
After serving in the Air Force, Bill practiced corporate law for 37 years in several major US corporations, including TRW, General Electric, and Aerojet. He retired in 2003 as Senior Vice President Law and General Counsel of GenCorp Inc.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents and first wife, Diane Lynn Phillips, the mother of his three children. He is survived by his beloved wife, Barbara Prero Phillips; daughter, Lynn Elizabeth Phillips (Adam); son, William Royal Phillips, Jr. (wife Lisa, children Gabriela, Liliana and Sofia); daughter, Jennifer Diane Schwandt (husband Ryan); step-son, Alexander Prero (wife Cali, daughter Madeline); step-son, Aaron Prero; stepdaughter, Allyson Prero; and sister, Shearin P. Antonowicz (husband Michael, daughter Anna Royal).
Bill had a passion for railroad history and trains in general from an early age. He rode trains all over the US and several in other countries, sometimes in the cab with the engineer. He collected toy trains, built model railways and enjoyed visiting train shows throughout the country.
Bill was a wonderful husband. He was very outgoing and had many friends. Bill and Barbara traveled extensively throughout the U.S. and England, but particularly enjoyed spending winter months in their special place, Marathon, Florida. He enjoyed entertaining, travel, and being with family. Friends and family will remember him for his larger-than-life personality and his joy in new experiences.
Visitation will be held Monday January 7, 2013 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Heritage Oaks Memorial Chapel 6920 Destiny Drive, Rocklin. Funeral services will be held Tuesday January 8, 2013 at 12 p.m. at Heritage Oaks Memorial Chapel. Burial to follow at Newcastle Cemetery.