William M. Phillips Sr., 84, passed away at 9:30am Monday, January 18, 2021 in St. Joseph Regional Medical Center in Mishawaka. He was infected with covid-19, and so he passed on in a room unfamiliar to him, being cared for by people dressed in ways that confused him. His final days were lonelier than necessary. He was not surrounded by family and friends.Bill was born on June 27, 1936 in South Bend to William and Christine (Walkowiak) Phillips whose grandparents immigrated to America from Hungary through Ellis Island, on the Ship Carpathian the sister ship of the Titanic. Bill believed in the chief teachings of the Catholic Church and received his elementary education from Our Lady of Hungary and St Matthews where he was warmly devoted to his faith in God, including up until the day he died, his rosary by his side.Bill retired from Uniroyal, a manufacturer of Tires and Rubber and the largest employer in Mishawaka. He loved his career at Uniroyal and had won many awards for his unique way of coming up with new solutions to problems. He belonged to the American Society of Tool and Manufacturing Engineers (ASTME). After the plant was tore down, he loved to visit the old site where a memorial had been erected, in its place. After retirement, Bill was a people person, and so he managed two popular Notre Dame establishments The Boat Club and Finnegans Lounge, where he loved conversing with the ND students, and they him -- he also was a coin and gun collector. Bill spent many day and night in the garage, wrenching on an old classic car or two, where he loved having his kids next to him in the earlier days, running for tools and showing them the basics of automobile restoration.Bill graduated from Washington High School, South Bend in 1956. During these years, he was on the Varsity Track team where he had won numerous awards in High Jump, and his Varsity Football team won the 1954 State Championship. Bill was also an original member of the Jokers Club of Washington High School, where summer reunions continued throughout many years, and included life-long friends, lots of BBQ and corn on the cob, and always a game of jarts or two.Surviving are daughters Shelly Lynn Phillips, Kimberly Ann Fox and stepdaughter Janice Spiek, 8 grandchildren Brandon Grossnickle, Michelle Grossnickle Russell, Tahnee Pinkston, Coty and Josh Phillips, Johnny and Dillon Barrier and Heather Spiek. 7 great-grandchildren Briar-Rose, Carter, Adelynn, Isabelle, Breana, Evelyn, and Audri, a sister Debbie Phillips, his first wife Judith Ham and close family friend Mike Banicki. William was preceded in death by his wife Avis, son William Phillips Jr. and sister, Bonnie Katona.Cremation has taken place. Graveside services will take place at 2:00pm Thursday, January 28, 2021 in Sacred Heart Cemetery. Masks are required and social distancing guidelines will be enforced. Memorial contributions may be made to Alzheimer-Dementia Services or Hospice. Zahoran Funeral Home has been entrusted with arrangements.To leave an online condolence, visit our website http://www.zahoran.com or our Facebook page Zahoran Funeral Home.
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