Cortez, CO 81321-3213
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James Holden Phillips Jr.

1926 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
James Holden Phillips Jr. Obituary
James Holden Phillips, Jr., 91, a remarkable man, found his peace in God and entered heaven on June 23, 2018 from his Bandon, OR home.

Jim (to his friends) was born to First Lieutenant James Holden, Sr., and Mary Ethel on December 16, 1926, at the home of his maternal grandmother in Colorado Springs, CO. He was appointed to West Point from Colorado, joining the Corps of Cadets in July 1946. He graduated in 1951, being commissioned in Armor. His assignments during his career took him to Fort Hood, TX, three times; Korea, where he was wounded; Japan; Fort Knox, KY three times; Fort Leavenworth, KS; Washington, D.C.; and Viet Nam twice. He retired as a Colonel at Ft. Huachuca, AZ, after 30 years of service and was immediately recalled to active duty as the Commander, USAEPG, for another 21 months. Among his military decorations are the Legion of Merit (2 OLC), the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, World War II Victory Medal, Vietnam Cross of Gallantry (w/palm), and United Nations, Staff, National Defense (1 OLC), Korean, and Vietnam Service Medals.

Jim was very involved in Rotary and served as past presidents of the Sierra Vista, AZ, Cortez, CO, and Dolores, CO, clubs. Jim also belonged to the Military Order of the Purple Heart, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the Elks.

In his later years while living in Colorado from 2004 until 2015, he volunteered much of his time with Habitat for Humanity, CASA of the Four Corners, the Galloping Goose Historical Society, and Lone Mesa State Park Office in Dolores, as his was a lifetime of service to others.

Jim was proceeded in death by his wife, Ruth L. Keen, the mother of his children; and his wife, Dolores Grabinski, with whom he shared his later years traveling and enjoying retirement; as well as his long time canine companion, Carter.

He is survived by his children: Eric (Valerie), Mark (Alexandra), Cynthia (Paul) Hay, Karen (Michael) Harris, Heather (James) Davis, Alicia Hensley, as well as his 10 grandchildren, 8 step-grandchildren, and 9 great-grandchildren.

A celebration of life will be held at Ertel Funeral Home in Cortez on September 15, 2018 from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm. Please come and share your stories with the family.
Published in The Journal on Sept. 11, 2018
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