Dr. Jerry W. Phillips
Winslow Alumni Class of 56
June 10, 2006
OAKLAND CITY — Dr. Jerry W. Phillips, 68, of Oakland City, died Saturday, June 10, 2006, at Angel River Health & Rehabilitation. He and his wife, Judy, would have celebrated their 46th wedding anniversary on June 12.
Dr. Phillips was born February 7, 1938, grew up in Pike County, and graduated from Winslow High School in 1956. He graduated from Oakland City College in 1959 and taught junior and senior high math and science in Holland, Ind., from 1959 to 1962. He participated in a National Science Foundation Grant and received his master’s degree from the University of Illinois in 1963. He joined the faculty at Oakland City College as a mathematics professor in 1963 and taught there until his retirement in 2001. In 1970, he earned his doctorate in math education from Indiana University.
As a mathematics education professor, he was known for scheduling his math for elementary education classes to visit Oakland City Elementary School, where college students would teach small groups of elementary students fun math lessons using manipulatives and out-of-the-ordinary methods. Elementary students and teachers alike would look forward to the Friday when Dr. Phillips’ class would visit their grade.
For the last seven years of his career, he served as Academic Dean of Oakland City University. As dean, he worked on strengthening the adult degrees program and also in instituting college degree programs for inmates at Branchville and Rockville Correctional facilities. Upon his retirement from OCU in 2001, he was named Mathematics Professor Emeritus and Vice President for Academic Affairs Emeritus. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Science from Oakland City University in November, 2004.
Awards received during his career included the Jaycees Outstanding Young Educator Award in 1973, Oakland City College Teacher of the Year in 1978, and the Oakland City College Special Service Award in 1995. He was a member of the National Council for Teachers of Mathematics and was active in the Indiana Council for Mathematics Teachers. He was a member of the Phi Delta Kappa national honor society.
For many years, Jerry was an active deacon of the First General Baptist Church of Oakland City and served as teacher for various Sunday School classes.
Jerry was a long-time member of the Oakland City Kiwanis Club, served as local club president, and served three terms as Lieutenant Governor of the Buffalo Trace Division.
He was a member of the Montgomery Cemetery Board and served as the cemetery’s sexton until his recent illness. After his retirement, he also served on the Board of the Gibson County Community Foundation, helped with the teen Bible study at WMHS, and served as a substitute driver for Meals on Wheels.
Jerry especially loved gardening, traveling, and entertaining his grandchildren.
Dr. Phillips was preceded in death by his parents, Charles and Dorothy (Coleman) Phillips.
He is survived by his wife, Judith Anne (Black) Phillips; their two daughters and sons-in-law, Robin and Roger Sermersheim, of Oakland City and Barbara and Scott Watson, of Evansville; and six grandchildren, Ryan (and Meagan), Regan, and Randa Sermersheim and Nathan, Abigail, and Isaac Watson. He is also survived by his sister and her husband, Janet and Jerry Putman, of Fairfield Glade, Tenn., and two nephews, Christopher Putman, of Cincinnati, Ohio, and Timothy Putman, of Evansville. Sincere appreciation is expressed to the staff at Angel River Health & Rehabilitation and Vista Care Hospice.
Funeral services were Wednesday, June 14, at 10 a.m. at the First General Baptist Church in Oakland City, with burial in Montgomery Cemetery. Dr. Rodney Walls officiated. Visitation was from 4 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, June 13, at Corn-Colvin Funeral Home in Oakland City and from 9 a.m. to service time Wednesday at the church.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Oakland City University — Jerry Phillips Endowed Scholarship Fund. Envelopes will be available at the funeral home. Condolences may be made online at www.corncolvinfuneralhome.com.