John F Phillips
Tomb DatesDec 1964 - Jan 1966
ObituaryJohn F. Phillips, 77, passed away at Lower Cape Fear Hospice Sunday, April, 30, 2017. John was born April 27, 1940, in Fayetteville, N.C., son of the late John and Elivian Phillips. He served in the U.S. Army’s 3rd Infantry “The Old Guard.” He served as the officer in charge of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. He was officer in charge of General Douglas MacArthur’s funeral, officer in charge of President Herbert Hoover and Ambassador Adlai Stevenson’s funerals. He was deployed to Vietnam and received the rank of captain, serving as company commander assigned to the 1st Infantry Division, “The Big Red One.” John received a Bronze Star, Army Commendation Medal, Valorous Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Good Conduct Ribbon and the Vietnam Campaign Medal. He also earned an Expert Infantryman’s Badge, Combat Infantryman’s Badge, Airborne Wings and Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers’ Identification Badge. He declined the Silver Star Medal out of respect to fellow soldiers who did not return under his command. He will forever be a member of the Brotherhood of the Blue Cord. Post military service, he received a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington in 1970 and attended the G.E. Management Training Program. He led a very successful career in corporate finance, serving as the chief financial officer of several multinational corporations. He was a man of great integrity, sincerity, strength, honesty, humor and generosity. He especially enjoyed spending time with family, friends and his dog Molly, traveling, history, eating good food and supporting UNCW through scholarships and serving on boards were favorite activities. He loved beyond measure and was loved beyond measure. John was preceded in death by his parents and brother, David Phillips. Survivors include his wife of 56 years, Connie; son, Joe Phillips, and his wife, Kelley; daughter, Jennifer Bundgaard, and her husband, Dan; granddaughter, Jessica Phillips; grandson, Neil Phillips, and his wife, Krystal; sister-in-law, Sharon Brown, and her husband, Jim; niece, Michelle Brown-Mang, and her husband, James; nephews, James, Barry and David; great-nieces, Miranda, Susana, Christen and Katie; great-nephews, Brandon and Ryan; and numerous cousins and friends. Services were held at Oleander Memorial Gardens Mausoleum.
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Did you know?
There is a small green shack next to the Tomb. What is it for?
'The Box' (as it is affectionately known) is used primarily during wreath laying ceremonies for the Sentinel to retreat to while flowers and Taps are being presented. There also is a phone with a direct line downstairs to the Tomb Guard Quarters. This is used in times of emergencies or just to notify the next shift of something.