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Obituaries » Philip Knight Tomlinson

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February 2, 1931 - May 27, 2020

In accordance with his wishes, cremation will take place and a private family memorial will be held at a later date on the shore of Lake Michigan. Friends are encouraged to leave a condolence message.

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Age 89, passed away on Tuesday May 27, 2020 in Kalamazoo. Phil was born on February 02, 1931 in Highland Park, Illinois to Herbert and Dorothy (Shippen) Tomlinson. As a youth he lived in the Hawaiian Islands and experienced the attack on Pearl Harbor December 7th, 1941. Phil enjoyed competitive speed skating, winning the Chicago Tribune Silver Skates and had a try out for the 1952 U.S. Olympic speed skating team. After serving 2 years in the Korean conflict, he returned to attend and graduate from the Institute of Lettering and Design in Chicago, Illinois After graduation, he taught evening courses in graphic arts. He met his wife, Joy Lou Cook in 1948 on the Saugatuck, Michigan lakeshore, where Phil and Joy’s families had summer cottages. They were married on January 23, 1954 in Chicago at the All Saints Episcopal Church. Phil was employed at Foote, Cone & Belding Advertising Agency in Chicago for many years, before moving to Kalamazoo in 1963. He thoroughly enjoyed his work and was involved in the Outdoor Advertising and Sign Industry for some 45 years. Retiring in 1991, he and Joy spent many winters in Naples, Florida and summers in Saugatuck, Michigan, boating on Lake Michigan with his whole family. Phil loved boating, golfing collecting old wood shaft golf clubs, balls and all sorts of old golf memorabilia. Phil was preceded in death by his two beloved sons, Cooper and Bruce Tomlinson. He is survived by his wife of 66 years and two sons, Peter (Houston) Tomlinson of Los Angeles, California and George Tomlinson of Kalamazoo. Phil also leaves to cherish his memory his grandchildren, Matthew, George, Lynn and Rex, as well as their special great granddaughter, Mya.