American Veteran 01

Jesse Phillips

June 14, 1928 ~ October 26, 2019 (age 91)

Life Story

Jesse Jerome Phillips was born on June 14, 1928 in Blytheville, AR. To parents Annie (White) and John Phillips. He graduated from Harrison High school in 1944 and moved to Muskegon, MI in 1945. He followed family that had moved north as part of the great southern migration in search of greater opportunities.

He was preceded in death by the love of his life, his wife of sixty years Irene Ophelia (Foster) Phillips. Brothers: Rufus Johnson, John Eddie Phillips. Sister Carrie (Phillips) Reed.

He leaves to mourn his loss and celebrate his life five children: Sons Randall (Sheila) of Muskegon Hgts, MI, Gregory (Pamela) of Holland MI., David (Cynthia) of Woodbridge, IL. Daughters Lynnette Phillips and Victoria Phillips both of Grand Rapids, MI. Sister Maxine Rogan of Kansas City, MO, He was blessed with 5 grandchildren: Jason Phillips, Dustin Phillips, Nicole Austin (Josh) Tonnie Newberry and Kaitlyn Phillips. Two great-grandchildren Lysander and Ophelia Austin along with a host of beloved nieces and nephews.

Jesse retired from Sealed Power Corporation in 1987 where he worked for 51 years as a General Forman. He was also employed for 31 years in the Men’s department of Sears and Roebuck in the Muskegon mall.

Jesse Phillips served proudly in the United States Air Force as Communication Officer with the Strategic Air Command. He was active duty from 1948-1951 during the Korean Conflict. He was stationed around the country in Maryland, Wyoming, California and Denver. He also served in the Pacific Islands of Guam, the Philippines and Japan. He was on Active Reserve stationed at Fort Custer MI. Jesse retired from the USAF in 1987 after 39 years of service with the rank of Senior Master Sergeant.

Jesse was an active member of the Deacon Board of Greater Harvest Baptist Church and a member of the Finance Committee. He and his wife Irene where married in 1948 by the Honorable Rev. Clayborn Casey who also baptized all five of his children. He had a deep and abiding love of the Lord his wife and family. His home was a welcoming place that was filled with much love and laughter

His strong work ethic and insistence on education lives on through his family. We miss him already but we know that to be absent of the body is to be in the presence of the Lord. May flights of Gods Angels’ sing thee to thy rest.

In lieu of flowers....

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Open Viewing
November 1, 2019

5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Toombs Funeral Home
2108 Peck St
Muskegon Heights, MI 49444

Celebration of Life
November 2, 2019

12:00 PM
Greater Harvest MBC
2435 Riordan Street
Muskegon Heights, MI 49444


National Kidney Foundation of Michigan
1345 Monroe Ave NW #140, Grand Rapids MI 49505
Tel: 1-616-458-9520

Alzheimer's Association, Michigan Great Lakes Chapter
549 Seminole Rd. Suite 103, Norton Shores MI 49444
Tel: 1-231-780-1922

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