William "Bill" Phillips(1946 - 2013)

La Quinta

William "Bill" Phillips

William "Bill" Phillips, 66, passed away peacefully Saturday, January 19, 2013, in La Quinta, surrounded by his beloved wife of 14 years, Sandi, and their loving family. He was born May 27, 1946 in Sacramento, to Maudie and Frank Phillips.

Bill moved to Salinas, where he worked in the produce brokerage business. From the early age of 14, he was already holding two jobs and recognizing his passion for hard work. He was widely known for his prowess and expertise representing Keany Produce Company. He quickly became a highly respected resource for that business, and relied upon by many for his knowledge. Bill was an individual who gained enormous respect by all of those he worked with, from coast to coast.

Bill moved to the Coachella Valley in the early nineties. He eventually established his primary residence, with Sandi, at PGA West, while keeping a second home at the Balboa Bay Club in Newport Beach.

Bill Phillips was a dapper gentleman, probably one of the few who never went without a monogrammed handkerchief. He was a charismatic personality attracting attention from a wide variety of people looking to engage him in conversation that ran the gamut of subjects. He was known especially to his friends for his keen sense of humor and ability to tell jokes and great stories.

As a collector of art and passionate about interior design, Bill had an appreciation of music and the arts leading him later to produce a jazz album. He was an avid golfer, enjoying many rounds with golf partners from Pebble Beach to the Desert.

He had an uncanny memory. Bill never forgot a name or face. He was kind and extremely generous. He loved frequenting restaurants, befriending not only the restaurant's owners but everyone from the bartender to the valet. He was every man's friend.

Bill Phillips went first class all the way and made sure to live life to the fullest every day.

His son, Jason Phillips, precedes him in death. Bill is survived by his wife, Sandi; stepsons, Michael [Eva] Caruana, Damon [Sharon] Caruana, Jon Caruana, Mike Jr. [Susan] Caruana; two beloved granddaughters, Kylie and Nikki Caruana; sisters-in-law, Dee [Ed] Rey and Brenda McKenney-Morse [Alan Morse]; brother-in-law, Fred [Mary] McKenney and his cousin, Ray [Bobbie] Engel.

A Celebration of Life will be held to honor Bill on Sunday, January 27, 2013 at 2 p.m., at the PGA West Private Clubhouse, La Quinta, CA 92253.

In honoring Bill, the family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to City of Hope, Desert Communities Office, 41865 Boardwalk, Suite 110, Palm Desert, CA 92211, 760-779-1801.

Funeral Home

Montecito Memorial Park and Mortuary
3520 E Washington St Colton, CA 92324
(909) 825-3024

Published in The Salinas Californian from Jan. 24 to Jan. 26, 2013