William G. "George" Phillips


IRONWOOD, Mich. — William G. “George” Phillips, 91, of West Michigan Ave., Ironwood, passed away peacefully at home Friday, Aug. 16, 2013, with his wife by his side.

He was born July 9, 1922, in Cornwall, England, to the late Lillie (James) and William Henry Phillips, and came to the United States as a toddler. He graduated from Luther L. Wright High School in 1941 and attended Gogebic Community College for one year. He then entered the U.S. Army Air Corps on March 30, 1943, serving in the Eighth Air Force, 466th Bomb Group, in England during World War II, and was honorably discharged as a sergeant on Oct. 24, 1945.

Following his discharge, George joined the Gogebic National Bank in Ironwood in January 1946, serving the bank in various capacities for over 33 years, retiring as cashier and security officer on Sept. 1, 1979. During that time, he completed all American Institute of Banking courses and was a graduate of the University of Michigan School of Banking.

He served as treasurer of the Gogebic Community College Foundation, was a member of the Executive Board of the Alumni Association, and was a former member and past secretary of the Ironwood-Hurley Rotary Club. A 32nd degree Mason, George was past Master of the Ironwood Masonic Lodge, past Commander of Knights Templer, Ambassador of Ahmed Temple of the Shrine, and past secretary-treasurer of the Gogebic Masonic Temple Association. He was also a member and past Exalted Ruler of the former Ironwood Elks Lodge, had been Gogebic County Red Cross chairman, Easter Seal co-chairman, and had participated in other community drives. He was a current member of Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church in Ironwood and Ironwood American Legion Post 5.

George was married to Barbara Jeffery, who preceded him in death on July 5, 1961.

He then was married to Dolores Munari on Dec. 19, 1964, at St. Ambrose Catholic Church in Ironwood, by the Rev. Robert Matchett. She survives.

Also surviving are a daughter, Barbara Vizanko, Duluth, Minn .; four grandchildren, Michelle Walker, Henderson, Nev., Bonnie Landau, Malibu, Calif., James (Alicia) Vizanko, Woodruff, Wis., and Amy Vizanko, Jacksonville, Fla .; six great-grandchildren, Cameron and Brock Walker, and Kate, Brody, Joseph and Drew Vizanko; a sister-in-law, Margaret Koszloski, DePere, Wis .; and several nieces, nephews and cousins. 

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Wednesday, Aug. 21, at 11 a.m., preceded by visitation in the St. Joseph Family Room at 10 a.m., at Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church in Ironwood, with the Rev. Robb Jurkovich, celebrant.

Rite of Committal and interment will follow in Riverside Cemetery, Ironwood, where full military honors will be accorded by the Ironwood American Legion Post 5 Honor Guard.

Luncheon will be served at Manny’s in Ironwood immediately upon return from the cemetery.

Pallbearers will be Jim Vizanko, Mike Teeter, Pat Sands, Ivan Wirtala, Jerry Yatchak and Art Munari.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Our Lady of Peace Church Building Fund, 108 S. Marquette St., Ironwood, MI 49938.

George’s obituary can be viewed online and condolences given to his family at mckevittpatrickfuneralhome.com.

Arrangements have been entrusted to McKevitt-Patrick Funeral Home, Inc., Ironwood.


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