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Richard "Dick" Stewart Phillips

April 11, 1926 October 1, 2019
Richard "Dick" Stewart Phillips
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Obituary for Richard "Dick" Stewart Phillips

Richard “Dick” Stewart Phillips, a longtime Chicago patent lawyer known for his jocularity, sunny outlook, a love of curling, and a belated interest in scuba-diving, died Monday, October 1, 2019 in Decatur, IL. He was 93.

A memorial service to honor and celebrate Dick’s life will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, October 7, 2019 at First Presbyterian Church, 204 W. Prairie Ave. Decatur, IL 62523. The family will receive friends for a time of visitation from 10:30-11:00 a.m. at the church. Dawson & Wikoff West Wood Street Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements. Messages of condolence may be sent to the family at www.dawson-wikoff.com.

The cause was complications of Alzheimer’s, his daughter, Ann Logan Phillips, said. Even after Mr. Phillips began having difficulties with his memories, his friendly and easy-going disposition carried through. In recent days, one son asked him if he would be willing to take a family trip to a longtime favorite spot, Mr. Phillips didn't miss a beat. “Sure,” he replied.

Mr. Phillips was known for his fortitude and strong sense of duty, including a reluctance to retire from practicing law. He worked with the same Chicago law firm for his entire 60+year career, beginning in 1951 when the firm was called Schroeder, Merriam, Hofgren & Brady and departed as a senior partner of Wood, Phillips, Katz, Clark & Mortimer. He routinely showed up in the office well into his late 80s and continued to occasionally advise extended family members. He was known for occasionally inserting a copy of the “Philips Milk of Magnesia” trademark in personal letters with a note that the surname was spelled differently.

He enjoyed Mount Gay Sugarcane Brandy, ice cream, bourbon, a lunchtime beer after working in the yard and doing just about anything, as long as he was busy. He approached everything that interested him with curiosity and zeal.

He took fashion cues from no one. His signature look being a blue oxford button down shirt (that might or might not be fraying at the collar), well-travelled khaki slacks, and a pair of boat shoes so ancient that even Goodwill refused them.

Although an avid fan of Jacques Cousteau, Dick didn’t discover scuba diving until age 60, exploring the undersea realm in many tropical locations.

Richard Stewart Phillips was born on April 11, 1926, to Carl Eston and Bess Alexander Phillips in Peoria, Illinois. He was the eldest of three boys. Phillips attended and graduated Morgan Park Military Academy in Chicago.

During World War II, the Navy sent him to school to study electrical engineering rather than billet him on a submarine headed to the Pacific Theater. He attended Northwestern University as well as the University of Illinois where he received his law degree.

Along the way, he met his wife of 56 years, Barbara Ann Taylor, thanks to an introduction from a Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity brother Bill Madden. Dick and Barbara lived for many years in Northbrook, competed in bonspiels at the Chicago Curling Club, played golf in several leagues and at Skokie Country Club and indulged in a love of travel, especially to tropical locations. When the young couple first wed in 1951, Madden and his wife, Margaret G. Madden, attended the wedding.

Years later, after both Barbara Phillips and Mr. Madden died, Dick and “Peggy” Madden reconnected and kindled a romance, marrying in 2008. From excursions to New York City, Chicago, St. Louis, and Springfield for Broadway shows and concerts, weeklong train trips to historical sites, musical concerts at Ravinia, and numerous visits to see children and grandchildren, Dick and Peggy shared many wonderful adventures. For his 90th birthday celebration, Peggy treated Dick to a special train trip to New Orleans to listen to jazz and explore the French Quarter. With much love and laughter, they made each day count.

Dick was preceded in death by his first wife, Barbara and by his younger brothers Bob and Gene. He is survived by his wife Peggy and his 3 children, John (Donna), Scott (Ellen), Ann (Tony), grandson Jeff, granddaughter Jessica (Ryan), great-granddaughter Jayna along with many nieces, nephews, cousins, law partners and friends.

Heartfelt thanks go to Elease Meeks, truly caring and exceptional; Tina Clem and her compassionate, creative staff at Lincolnshire Place and the wonderful doctors and nurses at Decatur Memorial Hospital.

For those who wish, memorial donations in memory of Dick may be made to Millikin University Department of Theater and Dance or the REEF Environmental Education Foundation http://www.reef.org

When you think of Dick, celebrate the good memories you have of him


Previous Events

Visitation

Monday

7

Oct

10:30 AM 10/7/2019 10:30:00 AM - 11:00 AM 10/7/2019 11:00:00 AM
First Presbyterian Church

204 W. Prairie Decatur, IL 62523

First Presbyterian Church
204 W. Prairie Decatur, IL 62523

memorial service

Monday

7

Oct

11:00 AM 10/7/2019 11:00:00 AM
First Presbyterian Church

204 W. Prairie Decatur, IL 62523

First Presbyterian Church
204 W. Prairie Decatur, IL 62523
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