Jim Sampson “Sambo” Phillips, Jr. of Blanco County passed away on Friday, January 11, 2013 at the age of 60.
Jim was born in McAllen, Texas on May 9, 1952 to Jim Sampson Phillips and Mary Nell Garrett. He spent his childhood and teen years in Victoria, Texas, graduating from Victoria High School.
Growing up in the age of Rock and Roll, he made sure to live in the moment by singing ,dancing and howling at the moon to the legendary sounds of Hendrix, Zeppelin, The Who, It’s a Beautiful Day, Stevie Ray Vaughn, ZZ Top, Pink Floyd, Cream and many more. He played it LOUD!
He was a natural athlete and sportsman, excelling in tennis, track and baseball during his school years. In his twenties, he lived and surfed the waves of Hawaii’s North Shore, DrainPipe, Waimea Bay, and Honalea. It was in Hawaii where he met his beautiful wife, Mary.
When Jim and Mary moved to Texas, he became an avid golfer. He could be found at the golf course every Saturday with his daughter, Jade, as his caddy by his side. Jim excelled in golf and qualified to play in the USA Mid Amateur Championship and several pro am championship tournaments.
Jim’s proudest accomplishments in life were his children, Jade Meredith Phillips –Winters and Jim Sampson “Sam” Phillips III. He was able to attend Jade’s university graduation and walk her down the aisle on her wedding day, where they danced the night away under starlit skies. His son Sam played baseball from the time he was three years old and Jim coached him the entire way. Sam attends The University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario and plays outfield for the university baseball team. Jim made several trips to Canada to watch Sam play.
Jim also taught his children the love of hunting, fishing, shooting and life in the country. Port O’Connor was his home away from home, where he spent as much time as possible, the place he learned to fish the back bays with his dad, and he passed this love on to his children and friends.
Throughout his life he held many occupations - home builder, surfboard craftsman, commercial fisherman, carpenter, golf course contractor, real estate developer, real estate agent, and insurance agency owner/ risk inspector. He excelled at whatever he set his mind to.
Those closest to Jim were blessed to be influenced by his outpouring of model character. To cite only a small example of what he gave us, we will remember his kindness personified in how he would set his needs aside to comfort the smallest child in a room of loud and frantic goings-on, in the simplistic, conservative and yet wise approach that from subtleties his family and friends gained so much about life, politics, finance and family, finally, how the purpose of servitude defined his life. Jim was a successful man who could have realized much more. However, his heart led him to give more than he took. Whether it was seen in donating an entire weekend’s catch from Port O’Connor to a local family in need or spending valuable hours constructing shelter and ultimately a home for a young family, Jim always placed other needs above his.
He leaves behind great memories and his legacy of living a full and simple life with his wife Mary Leang-Phillips, son Jim (Sam) and daughter Jade ( Rex Winters) , sister Karen Bailey, brother Mike Phillips (Dana Phillips) , Aunt Della Wilson (Wiley Wilson,) many cousins, nieces , nephews, in–laws, out-laws and life- long friends; Tris Folger, P.J. Rojas, Wesley “Bubba” Dale Johnson, Danny Janota , Gene Lands, Doug Smith, Bob Goldman, Dub Paden, Mike Ashley and Rick Frederick . Jim also leaves behind his favorite dog and best friend, Rocky.
In our daily communities of friends and families, servants like Jim rarely bless us. Those of us fortunate enough to know him should count ourselves indebted. Our repayment will be to carry on his legacy. We love you Sambo.
Keep Calm and Surf ON...
A celebration of life will be held on Wed., January 16th, 2013 at Chapel Dulcinea at 4pm. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Jim Phillips Scholarship fund for graduating Johnson City seniors who were pupils of the Headstart program. An account has been set up at Cattleman’s National Bank.