Obituaries: J.R. Phillips

OTTUMWA – Richard “J.R.” LaVerne Phillips, 47, of Ottumwa passed away on March 25, 2017 at his home after an extended illness.

J.R. was born on June 25, 1969 in Charleston, SC on the Charleston Naval Base to Richard L. and Constance Cronk Phillips Sr.

J.R. graduated from Hedrick High School in 1988.  He married Lisa Garr on September 2, 1988 and they have two sons, Codey and Dakota and one granddaughter, Bella “Love Bug”.

In his younger years, he took a missions trip to the Appalachia Mountains to teach Bible school.  J.R. served in the Iowa Army National Guard, 224th Battalion out of Ottumwa.  He was stationed in Germany in 1990 during Desert Storm.

J.R. worked for years as a farm hand for local farmers before going to work at Automatic Door Group out of Des Moines.  He worked for ADG for 15 years.  He left ADG and drove semi for his dad at Phillips Trucking in Martinsburg.

J.R. was passionate about many things especially his family, NASCAR and football.  J.R. loved his family and spending time with them.  He especially loved holidays when the family would get together and celebrate.  He loved watching Dale Earnhardt Sr. and Dale Jr. race in NASCAR and cheering on his Pittsburg Steelers and Iowa Hawkeyes.  He also enjoyed debating politics with whomever he could and would debate with them whether they agreed with his point-of-view or not.

J.R. leaves behind his wife, Lisa; two sons, Codey and Dakota; a granddaughter, Bella; parents, Richard Sr. and Connie Phillips; two brothers, Scott (Amy) Phillips and Todd (Krystal) Phillips; his mother-in-law, Connie Ashby; a brother-in-law, Buddy (Crystal) Garr; sister-in-law, Laurie Durflinger; four nephews, Ethan and Jayden Phillips; Tyler Garr, Kolton Wray; two nieces, Dalana Phillips and April Durflinger.

His body has been cremated.  His family will hold a celebration of life party will be at 5 p.m. April 8th at Anthem’s in Hedrick.

Memorials may be made to the family.