Robert J. Phillips II of Memphis, Michigan, passed away September 23, 2018, at home after responding to an emergency medical call and an auto accident call. Robert was born to Marilynn Phillips and the late Robert Phillips. Robert is survived by his wife, Sandra S. Phillips; daughter, Jessica (Eric) Bauman; sons, Jason (Jennifer) and Jeffery (Kristina) Phillips; and grandchildren, Samantha, Riley, Kyle, Matthew, and Amelia.
Robert started at the Memphis Volunteer Fire Department in 1979, where he was an active member until his passing. During his 39 years of service, Robert held many positions including secretary, treasurer, fire chief, and many years as a senior firefighter. Robert spent countless hours mentoring his fellow firefighters and providing guidance wherever he could. Being in such a small community, many of the younger firemen were around the same age as his children. The relationships that he had with some of the younger guys started when they were young kids and he was coaching Little League with them.
Robert enjoyed camping, biking, and being a referee. Camping was always a part of his life and, while he has camped many places, one of his favorites his last few years was Rifle River Campground just outside of Rose City. He and his wife, Sandy, enjoyed the quiet campground for relaxing and hiking. Camping was a big family event; he would do family weekends with his siblings and their kids along with another weekend with his kids and grandkids each year. Bicycling was also something that Robert was passionate about. He enjoyed the relaxing ride, but he also did some bike tours that were 40-60 miles long. This was something that he got to share with his brother, Al Phillips, who also enjoyed biking, and they would do bike tours together such as the Peach of a Ride that started in Robert’s hometown.
Being a high school referee was another activity that Robert enjoyed. He refereed sports including softball, baseball, basketball, and football (his favorite). Being a referee let him be active in the sports with high school kids, while having a group of guys that were friends and that enjoyed it as much as he did.
Most of all, Robert was a family man that spent much time with family. He was always there for them and would help whenever he could. He loved play time with the grandkids and was known to take them to the park for a walk often. He was very involved and will be forever greatly missed and loved.