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James Christopher “J.C.” Phillips, devoted husband, father, and grandfather, passed away on March 22, 2024 at 82 years young.

J.C. was born in Richmond, Va., on March 20, 1942, and grew up in Gloucester, Va. He was the younger son of Chrystal Allmond Phillips and Lewis Franklin Phillips Sr.

J.C. graduated from the University of Richmond in 1964 with a Bachelor of Science in Business and Administration. In 1962, while attending one of his Kappa Alpha fraternity parties, he met the love of his life, Lela Louise Belz. In 1966, he started working at the State Council of Higher Education of Virginia (SCHEV) in Richmond and earned his Master of Commerce degree from U of R.

J.C. and Lela married in 1968 and welcomed their daughter, Jennifer Lee, into the world in 1973 and their son, Christopher Scott, in 1974. Jennifer and Chris brought the most joy to J.C.’s life.

J.C. worked on his Doctorate at William & Mary, and he and Lela moved to Williamsburg so he could finish his courses. In 1974, he earned his Doctorate Degree in Education from William & Mary. J.C. and Lela returned to Richmond, where he resumed working at SCHEV. Thereafter, he worked at the Department of Information Technology (DIT), where he helped universities and colleges in Virginia develop TeleTech net courses. Later, he moved to Virginia Beach, where he was the Head of Telecommunications at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va.

After taking early retirement at the age of 55, J.C. and Lela moved to Gloucester Point, Va. J.C. loved being back in his hometown, surrounded by friends and places of his youth. But more importantly, he cherished spending time with his brother, Frank Jr.; sister-in-law, Linda; niece, Elizabeth, and nephew, John and their families. Even after retirement, he continued his passion for higher education by being a Board Member at Rappahannock Community College.

His favorite things were spending time with his family, especially his grandsons, maintaining his gorgeous lawn, and boating on the York River.

J.C. never met a stranger as he would immediately engage individuals with his spectacular and unique conversations by sharing stories and his sage, funny anecdotes. There are so many hilarious stories centered around J.C.’s eccentric personality throughout his life, always with a dash of mischief and humor.

Left to cherish his memory are his loving wife of 56 years, Lela Belz Phillips; daughter, Jennifer P. Morrison and husband Stuart and grandson, Charlie James Morrison; son, Christopher S. Phillips and wife Shara and grandson, Jaxon Buxton Phillips; niece, Elizabeth McCormick and husband Hugh; nephew, John Phillips and wife Tina and great-nephew, Chase; niece, Cathy B. Moran and husband Randy; niece, Elaine B. Farrington and husband Joe; nephew, Mike Belz and wife Cindy, and nephew, Danny Belz and wife Cindy.

The family would like to express their most sincere appreciation to family and friends who have helped through this difficult time.

The funeral service, conducted by Pastor Clint Mitchell, will be at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, June 5, 2024, at Hogg Funeral Home, 3098 George Washington Memorial Highway, Hayes, Va. 23072. The interment will be private.

In our loved one’s memory, the family requests memorials be made to the Alzheimer’s Association at