George Bruce “Jack” Phillips passed away on August 22, 2016, at the age of 91. He was born on December 13, 1924, and raised on a farm in Portland, Michigan. Like many who sought to escape the country and the devastation of the Depression, Jack saw education and the GI bill as his ticket. Following service in the U.S. Army during WWII where he was honorably discharged, he began his college years. He transferred from University of Michigan and obtained his BA from the legacy Michigan Agricultural College, the predecessor to MSU, having majored in English and History. He obtained his Juris Doctor from Wayne State University Law School. He was admitted to the Michigan State Bar on January 6, 1954. He remained active to his last day. While starting his law career, he was employed at GM Fisher Body immediately following graduation. He worked nights at GM and practiced law during the day. Six years into his law career, he ran for office. First, he ran for the 14th Senatorial District which then covered Ingham and Livingston counties, and, a year later, for the State House of Representatives for Ingham County’s First District.
His professional successes allowed him to obtain a pilot’s license, enjoy ballroom dancing, swing and big band music, travel widely throughout Europe, Tahiti, the Bahamas, South America, Mexico, Cuba–before the travel restrictions, the US, etc. He was an avid reader, had written several short stories, and it is anticipated one more writing will be published posthumously. Jack was an accomplished guitarist, pursued continuing education in multiple disciplines, becoming fluent in Spanish, and donated time to Cooley Law School as a guest lecturer. Retirement brought one of his greatest pleasures: breakfast at Flap Jack Shack in Lansing where he spent time with his good friend, Tom Braxton, other close friends, and family.
Jack was predeceased by his parents, Lillian Phillips (Spencer) and Lloyd Phillips, and his sister, Ruth Jenkins (Phillips). He is survived by his daughter, Gloria A. Phillips, his niece, Stephanie (Phillip) Starkey (Jenkins), his nephew, Greg Jenkins, and many other nieces and nephews. Jack is also survived by his long-time friend, Antonio Bacigalupo.
The funeral service will be Monday, August 29, 2016, at 12 noon, at the Estes-Leadley Greater Lansing Chapel, 325 W. Washtenaw St, Lansing, MI 48933. Visitation will be Sunday, August 28, 2016, 1-3 p.m. at the funeral home. Interment will be at Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens in Lansing, Michigan.