Joseph A. Phillips, 88, of Erie, passed away on Tuesday, July 30, 2019, surrounded by family.
Born in Buffalo, New York, on June 28, 1931 to Frank and Alexandra Wisnewski (Venesky), Joe was raised by his aunt and uncle Alex and Sarah Olesky in DuBois, Pa, where he graduated St. Catherine’s High School.
Joe trained at the Quarter Master School in Fort Knox, Kentucky, and then went on to serve his country as a sergeant during the Korean War.
He married Mary Dolores Miller in 1952; their 67th anniversary was March 19, 2019.
The couple moved to Erie after Joe’s discharge from the Army. Joe was employed for many years as a machinist and fabricator at Copes Vulcan.
Joe served as President of the Erie Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind. He also served on the executive board of the Greater Erie Eye Bank (Lions), and was a member of the Blinded Veteran’s Association of America. Joe strongly believed that non-sighted individuals could lead independent lives, and worked tirelessly on behalf of the above-mentioned organizations.
He enjoyed bowling on a blind bowler’s league, Polka music, strengthening his faith, listening to National Library Service Books for the Blind, and spending time with his family. Prior to the onset of blindness, Joe enjoyed photography and home projects.
Joe’s proudest accomplishment was his seven children.
Joe is survived by his wife Dolores, his children, Mary Jo (Paul Winkelbauer), Cathie, James (Karen), and Joseph Michael Phillips (Kristine); Natalie Woznicki (Nicholas) and Laura Prylinski; nine grandchildren, (Mallory, of Cleveland, Ohio, Ryan, and Ben Prylinski, of Exmore, Virginia), Justin Phillips, Logan, Adam, and Anna Woznicki, Sarah Wokulich (Alex) of Clarksville, Tennessee, Justin Phillips, and Olivia Phillips), and one great-grandchild (Noah Wokulich).
Daughter Michelle Phillips Roush preceded him in death in 2011. His birth and adoptive parents, sister Marion, and brothers Henry, John, and Raymond also preceded him in death.
Many nieces, nephews, and their children also survive him; as well as kind friends at Mercy Terrace Apartments.
Friends are invited to call at the Quinn Funeral Home, West 9th and Liberty S, on Friday, August 2nd, from 3:00 -7:00 p.m., and are invited to attend Prayer Services there on Saturday, August 3rd, at 10:30 a.m., followed by a Funeral Mass at 11:00 a.m. in St. Andrew Catholic Church, 1116 West 7th Street.
Burial will be at Gate of Heaven Cemetery.
Memorial donations may be sent to Mercy Terrace Apartments, 430 East Grandview Blvd., Erie, PA 16504, in care of Sister Mary Felice, RSM (Sisters of Mercy).
To send flowers to Joseph's family, please visit our floral section.