Jack Phillips

August 26, 1938 – June 1, 2021
Resident of Atherton

Jack was born in Tulare, California, the youngest of Mabel and Tulsa Phillips’ four sons.

He received a B.A. degree at the University of San Francisco where he sang with the a cappella group, the “Pipes”. He was a beloved English teacher and guidance counselor to generations of students at Palo Alto High School, where he worked for 35 years. Never a runner, but instead an avid walker, Jack was an active member of the LGBTQ+ BayLands FrontRunners, for which he served on the Board of Directors and hosted countless pool parties, meetings, and celebrations. He was a pianist, sculptor, talented man around the house, devoted Shakespearean and composer of sonnets. Additionally, Jack was a passionate theater-goer and Broadway visitor, and one of the founding fathers of the annual Music@Menlo festival, at the Menlo School. Each of his homes reflected his gifts as an interior designer extraordinaire and visionary gardener.

Jack was renowned for his hospitality, generosity, and civic commitments, qualities which made him a caring mentor to countless others, and a cherished friend to everyone he met. His playfulness and engagement with the world around him, as evidenced in his travels abroad with friends, are a testimony to his inextinguishable joie de vivre. Jack lived his life by a maxim on his workshop wall: Do not count the days; make the days count.

A Celebration of Life Service will be held on Sunday, August 15th at 1:00 PM in the Jennings Pavilion at Holbrook-Palmer Park in Atherton. Individuals wishing to attend are asked to notify Fred Weldy at weldyfred@gmail.com. As parking is limited, attendees are strongly encouraged to car pool. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Music@Menlo Fund (musicatmenlo.org) or the Human Rights Campaign (hrc.org).