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Philip Jermain Irish

1945 - 2017 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Philip Jermain Irish Obituary
Philip Jermain Irish

Collierville, TN

Philip Jermain Irish, of Collierville, died Thursday, March 2, 2017, following a valiant battle with cancer. He was 71.

Phil was born in 1945 in Utica, NY to James and Bunny Irish. He spent his childhood in Kinderhook, NY, surrounded by his six brothers and one sister. He then attended college at the University of Rochester, where he was a member of the ROTC. Upon graduation, Phil followed a family tradition by enlisting in the Navy. He retired a captain after twenty-two years of distinguished service in both active and reserve duty.

His experience as a Navy pilot sparked a life-long passion for aviation, a passion that led Phil to Memphis in 1974 to work as a pilot at Federal Express. As a bachelor pilot in a new city, Phil was set up on a blind date with Mary Newman. In April 1976, they were married in the first Episcopal ceremony at the Church of the Holy Apostles.

Phil enjoyed a 31-year-long career as a FedEx pilot. Following his retirement in 2005, he served as the chair of the Building and Grounds Committee for his church, earning him a service award. He also enjoyed singing in the church choir, maintaining his extensive model railroad collection, and traveling to car shows around the country to share his significant collection of classic cars.

Phil is survived by his wife of forty years, Mary Irish (Newman); his daughters Katie Irish (Jonathan Scott Chinn) and Heather Irish; grandson Desmond Chinn; and two more grandchildren due this spring. A memorial service will be held this May, details forthcoming. Memorial donations may be made to the Church of the Holy Apostles in Collierville.
Published in The Commercial Appeal on Mar. 7, 2017
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