He was born May 30, 1936, in Matewan, to James and Cora Star Phillips. He was preceded in death by one brother, Kenneth Phillips.
James loved fishing, hunting, gardening, bee keeping, and raising Christmas trees. He was a Kentucky Colonel, member of the Western Sun Lodge #91 where he was a 32nd degree Mason, and was also a member of the El Hasa Shrine Club in West Portsmouth.
James is survived by his wife Edith; one son, James B. Phillips III of Portsmouth; two daughters, Tammy Kenney (Anthony) of New Vienna, Ohio, Dianna Jones of Matewan; one brother, Harold (Olga) Phillips of Boynton Beach, Fla; one sister-in-law, Pauline Phillips of Matewan; five sisters, Betty Jane Kenny of Narrows, Va., Doris Walts of Michigan, Helen Smothers of Michigan, Patty Struthers of Michigan, Phyllis Hall of Kingsport, Tenn.; seven grandchildren, Jamie (Donald) Storer, Braxton Phillips, Jeremy Grimes, Justin Grimes, Eli Kenney, Tyler Jones, Garrett Jones.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, April 30, at Wolfe-Nelson Funeral Home in Sciotoville with Pastor Brian Baer officiating. Interment will be in Batterson Cemetery in Harrison Township. Friends may call Friday one hour prior to the service at the funeral home.
Wolfe-Nelson Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.