William R. Phillips, 70
AUBURN, CALIF. — Mr. William Royal Phillips of Auburn, Calif., died Jan. 3, 2013 at UC Davis Medical Center from complications of acute myeloid leukemia. Bill was surrounded by his family at the time of his passing.
Bill was born to Lt. Colonel and Mrs. Royal E. Phillips in Roseboro, N.C., on Sept. 25, 1942. He graduated from Roseboro-Salemburg High School and attended UNC Chapel Hill as a Morehead Scholar. He graduated from the Law School at UNC and also received an advanced law degree from George Washington School of Law. He was a member of the State Bar in both North Carolina and California.
Bill began his career as an attorney in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps of the U.S. Air Force and served his country proudly for 10 years. After leaving the Air Force, Bill practiced corporate law for 37 years in several major U.S. corporations, including TRW, General Electric and Aerojet. He retired in 2003 as Senior Vice President Law and General Counsel of GenCorp Inc.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents and first wife, Diane Lynn Phillips, the mother of his three children. He is survived by his wife, Barbara Prero Phillips; daughter, Lynn Elizabeth Phillips (Adam); son, William Royal Phillips, Jr. (wife Martha, daughters Gabriela, Liliana and Sofia); daughter, Jennifer Phillips Schwandt (husband Ryan); stepson, Alexander Prero (wife Cali, daughter Madeline); stepson, Aaron Prero; stepdaughter, Allyson Prero; and sister, Shearin P. Antonowicz (husband Michael, daughter Anna Royal).
Bill had a passion for railroad history and trains in general from an early age. He rode trains all over the U.S. and in other countries, collected toy trains, built model railways and visited national train shows. He also enjoyed playing the tuba and was a member of severalcommunity bands.
Bill loved entertaining, travel, and being with family. He was very outgoing and had many friends. Everyone who knew him will miss his larger-than-life personality and his joy in new experiences.
Following a celebration of his life at Heritage Oaks Memorial Chapel in Rocklin, Calif., Bill was buried in Newcastle Cemetery on Tuesday, Jan. 8.