Obituaries: Phillip Collett

OTTUMWA- Judge Phillip Rector Collett, 81, of 621 E. Alta Vista, died at 1:09 a.m. January 13, 2017 at Ottumwa Regional Health Center.

He was born June 18, 1935 in Ottumwa to Clarence and Belle Conley Collett.  He married Gayle Christine Olson on June 5, 1959 and she preceded him in death on July 3, 2015.

A 1952 graduate of Ottumwa High School, he earned a law degree from Drake Law School in 1961. He was a veteran of the U.S. Army.  He opened his own law practice in Ottumwa and became an Associate District Court Judge in 1974.  In 1976 he became a District Court Judge and then was appointed Chief Judge of the 8th Judicial District in 1978, becoming the youngest Chief Judge in the State of Iowa at that time.  Judge Collett retired in 1998 and then served as a senior judge for 5 years after retiring. He and his wife spent their retirement in Fort Myers, FL enjoying tennis and golf.

Surviving is his son, Dr. Jeff (Robbyn) Collett of Ottumwa; two grandchildren, Shea and Drew; three step-grandchildren, Seth, Sage and Savannah; two brothers, Richard (Wanda) Collett of Ottumwa and Walter Collett of North Carolina; two sisters, Marilyn Westfall and Martha Young both of Norwalk.

He was preceded in death by two sons, Paul and Matthew Collett, at an early age from cystic fibrosis.

His body has been cremated.

Memorial services will be 1 p.m. Friday, January 20, 2017 at Reece Funeral Home with Rev. James H. Wakelin officiating.  Private inurnment will be in Ottumwa Cemetery.

The family will be present one hour prior to the service to greet friends.

Memorials may  be given to the Alzheimer’s Association.