John H. Phillips
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JOHNSVILLE: Blessed is the man who has a thousand friends, and always room for one more. John Phillips lived a life that placed a high value on the people around him. To know John Phillips was to know a good-natured man, at whose very heart lived loyalty and honor, humor and kindness - all wrapped up in a man who loved life, his family, and his community. Oh, he could be a mischievous and ornery cuss, but there is no truth to the adage that John Phillips was too ornery to die.
He passed away peacefully in his rural Johnsville home, family at his side, Friday evening January 6, 2012. He was 94.
Born August 25, 1917 in Mt. Vernon to Clyde and Massie (Hyatt) Phillips, at the age of 14 he moved to the Johnsville area and was graduated from Johnsville High School in 1935. He remained a lifelong area resident, self employed as a home builder and excavating contractor. When asked where something was, he'd reply: "It's where it's supposed to be." He also worked for several years for the Ohio Department of Agriculture Weights and Measures.
Along with a friend Boyd Phillips, he developed the BoJo Weight Changing Sled - the first of its kind - which was used in many tractor pulls.
John served 24 years on the board of directors of the Morrow County Fair, and served as the Fair Parade Grand Marshall in 1989. He was one of the original 4H advisers establishing the Triple R Bar Horse Club, and served several terms on the Johnsville School Board.
A member of the Williamsport Grange, John was a 53-year member of Bellville Lodge #376 F&AM and a 66-year member of Johnsville Lodge #469 IOOF.
As a member of St. John's Lutheran Church at North Woodbury, he had served the congregation on church council and as Sunday school superintendent.
Blessed with a strong work ethic, John prided himself on heating his home every winter with wood he had chopped himself. He must have chopped tons, cords, even forests of firewood!
John Phillips knew that a gentle word, a kind look, a good-natured smile can work wonders and accomplish much. "Keep your tools on you" he would advise, along with "I don't know why anyone wouldn't carry a knife." He was a builder - of communities and families.
He is survived by his sons John H. "Jack" & Dianna Phillips of Perry, IL and Steve & Vicki Phillips of Kenton; his daughters and sons-in-law Karen & Bob Morrison of Johnsville and Rosemary & Joseph Baker of Ft. Myers, FL; 22 grandchildren; 46 great grandchildren; six great great grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his precious wife of 53 years Grace (Kochheiser) Phillips on October 18, 1993; and by his daughter Janet Lee Ruhl on March 7, 1971. Also deceased are his sisters Ruth Phillips Allgire and Mary Phillips Smith; and cherished friend Gladys Chalfant.
The Phillips family will receive friends Monday, January 9, 2012 from 3 to 7 p.m. In the Lexington Avenue Snyder Funeral Home, where a Masonic memorial service will follow after 7 p.m. His funeral service will be held Tuesday at 11 a.m. with Pastors Ray Linn and John Moffett officiating, in the funeral home. Burial will follow in Shauck Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in John's memory to Hospice of Morrow County may be made at the funeral home.
Snyder Funeral Home is honored to serve the Phillips family, and private condolences to them may be made online at: www.snyderfuneralhomes.com
Published in the News Journal on Jan. 8, 2012