Mr. James “Gumbo” Phillips Jr., age 90 of Dayton, Ohio went home to be with the Lord on Tuesday, July 4, 2023 with his family by his side after an extended illness. He was born on January 13,1933 to the late James Sr. and Rebecca Taylor Phillips.
James attended Roosevelt High School. He was very athletic. He played football, basketball, tennis, ran track, high bar (but couldn’t turn the bar loose someone had to take his hand off). He was also an amateur boxer. He won a gold shoe for the All-Around Athlete. His IQ was 122.
James enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corp on January 3,1952. He served two years and received the Medal of Honor. James was an aviation electrician working on the F4U-1 Corsair Airplanes. He was also on the Marine boxing team.
James retired from various jobs, General Motors Inland Division, Sinclair Community College Security and Avis Rental Cars. He also worked driving a cab, delivering mail and other small jobs. He enjoyed working in his yard, especially his rose garden, cooking, grilling his famous ribs, fishing, boating, playing tennis and hunting. James was a sports enthusiast and just loved the outdoors. He would go from the front to the back looking over his yard to see what he needed to do. He would work various kinds and sizes of puzzles, but at 12:00 he would go in to watch the news, Young and the Restless, Bold and the Beautiful, then his westerns. Most of all, he enjoyed spending as much time as he could with his grandchildren. He enjoyed mentoring and encouraging his grandchildren to reach their greatest potential. He traveled out of town to watch them play. He would attend their soccer, track, football and basketball games and their graduations. James built benches for the Meadowdale bantam football team because they had none, and he didn’t like that they had nowhere to sit for half-time. He built them and his wife did the finishing by making sure the name was on the benches. They received a certificate of Appreciation for Outstanding Support and Dedication to the 2003 Bantam Football Team from the coaches.
James lived life to the fullest and he and his wife enjoyed traveling. The longest trip they took was a 16-day Alaskan Train and Cruise combined.
James was proceeded in death by his parents, sister Alberta, and twin brothers Alvin and Allen Phillips; three sons, Kim, Michael and Eric Phillips; grandsons Tyron Trammell Jr. and D’Laquan Phillips; and great granddaughter, Xiamora Johnson.
James leaves to cherish is memory, loving wife Dorothy; sons, James Jr, Andre (Londie), Derrick (Tawana), Shawn, Tyrone Sr. (Eunice), Kayode Sr., Stanley (Tammy), Joseph, and one daughter, Sandra (Marc). Daughter-In-Law, Carletta, 44 grandchildren, 37 great-grandchildren, and one great-great grandchild; brothers-in-law, Ronald Farmer and Michael Farmer; sisters-in-law, Ruby Phillips, Shirley Trammell, Sarah Westmoreland and Edwina Farmer. Special friends, Michael (Stephanie) and Caron Guthrie, Shirley Combs, Peggy Miller, nieces, nephews, cousins, and countless other friends.