James Clifford Phillips
Graveside services for James Clifford Phillips, age 78, of Decatur will be Wednesday, March 27, 2013, at 2 p.m. at Roselawn Cemetery with the Rev. Bobby Ray Halbrooks and the Rev. Dean Bowers officiating and Roselawn Funeral Home directing. Visitiation will be tonight from 6 to 9 at Funland Skate Castle, 401 14th St. SE, Decatur.
Mr. Phillips, who died Saturday, March 23, 2013, at his home, was born March 1, 1935, in Morgan County to Herman Phillips and Roselle Riley Phillips. He was a longtime member of St. Luke United Methodist Church.
He was retired from owning and operating Funland Park for 40 years. James loved working, traveling, family, friends, Alabama football, and his four legged companion Booger Bear.
James grew up in Decatur and played football for Shorty Ogle for the Decatur Red Raiders. After school, he did his tour of duty in the Airborne and was stationed in Munich, Germany for two years.
James had a passionate love for rollerskating. As a young child, he worked for Mr. Hudson and Mr. Rost in the Old Tin-Skating Rink at the end of Second Avenue. He received no pay but was allowed to skate free.
He also worked at Hatfield Roller Rink. In 1961, he opened "Phillips Rollercade" on 14th Street. In 1968, he bought property across the street and started Funland Park. He opened "Skate Center" in 1974 and later he built and opened "Skate Castle" in 1981.
James had a "special love" for people, but especially for his customers and his employees. He dearly loved children. He always strived to provide a clean, fun and safe place for everyone to come to.
He was always a gentleman with great respect for everyone. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.
He always said he was blesed to have such a wonderful family and so many cherished friends.
He is survived by his loving wife, Donna Jones Phillips; one son, J.A. Phillips (Kim); two granddaughters, Erin Phillips and Jamie Phillips, all whom he loved and adored; two sisters, Edna Phillips Smith of Snellville, Ga., and Wilner Phillips Royce of Fayetteville, Arkansas; mother-in-law, Ann O. Jones of West Point; one sister-in-law, Denise Bice Jones of West Point; and several special nieces, nephews and cousins. Also, a very special dear friend and employee for the last 28 years, Donnie Farris of Decatur.
He was preceded in death by his father, Herman Phillips; his mother, Roselle Riley Phillips; one brother, Atlee "Dopey" Phillips; and two sisters, Geneva Phillips Elswick of Decatur and Alteen Phillips Johnson of Enterprise.
Pallbearers will be Bill Brazier, Terry Taylor, Lynn Layton, Carlton Moore, H.M. Nowlin, Walter Wright, Herman Moore Jr. and Randy Barnes.
Honorary pallbearers will be Bill Jones, Jim Mynes, Dr. Jay Solorio, Jim Shepard and Paul Scott.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the
or Hospice of the Valley.www.roselawnfhandcemetery.com