James E. 'Gene' Phillips
Freedom — James E. “Gene” Phillips, 91, of Unity passed quietly Monday, Feb. 11, at Maine General Medical Center with his family at his side. He was born July 24, 1921, in Kansas City, Mo., the son of Ralph W. and Marie (Jackson) Phillips.
Pop, or Gene, as he was affectionately known, attended schools in Eureka, Kan. He was a U.S. Air Force veteran with active service from 1939 to 1959, serving honorably in both World War II and the Korean War.
Gene was a very gregarious individual who liked nothing better than to be among his family and friends. A prolific letter writer, he kept in touch throughout the years with his extended family and the friends he made while in the service or living in various places. A favorite pastime of the past several years was spending Thirsty Thursday at his close friend Roy Ward’s house swapping tales with his friends.
Gene loved to travel and thought nothing of heading across the country to see those family members and friends. That love of travel included several years on the road with various campers and trailers. He and his wife Dora really enjoyed the camaraderie of the campground.
Gene’s work years were as varied as his friends. He worked for the U.S. Postal Service from 1960 to 1966, and Army Aviation System Command in St. Louis from 1967 to 1976. Following his retirement to Maine, Gene served as Selectman for the town of Freedom where he and Dora lived for many years. Gene enjoyed the fellowship at the Freedom Congregational Church where he liked to assist with the monthly public suppers, and he took great pride in the way he maintained the town’s cemeteries for several years.
Gene was predeceased by his parents; his brother, Ralph Noland Phillips; his sister, Flora Marie Phillips Glidden; his wife, Dora L. Phillips; and his daughters-in-law, Virginia Robideau and Patricia Phillips.
He is survived by his children, son, Jim Phillips and daughter, Sharon Phillips Martin, of Glen Burnie, Md., son, Scott Robideau of Unity, daughter, Holly Robideau Winchester and spouse, Kip, of Cape Elizabeth; grandchildren, Chad and Mark Kulawiak, Chandler and Timothy Winchester, Scott J. Robideau, and Nicole Hawes; along with several great grandchildren and great great grandchildren.
Gene also leaves two nieces and their husbands with whom he shared a special closeness, Patty Glidden Clark and spouse, Chief, of Palermo, and Rainey Glidden and spouse, Merrill Hall, of Yarmouth. Another niece and nephew, Sharon Phillips McCray and her husband, Ray, and Dennis Phillips, reside in California.
A celebration of Gene’s life was held on Saturday, Feb. 16, at the Freedom Congregational Church,. The family suggests in lieu of flowers, donations be made in Gene’s name to the Freedom Congregational Church, P.O. Box 75, Freedom, Maine 04941, or to a charity of your choice.
An online guestbook may be signed and memories shared at www.lawrybrothers.com
Arrangements are by Lawry Brothers Funeral Home, 107 Main St., Fairfield, 453-6049 or 800-660-2111.