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Cliff Phillip, 88, Dies in Florida

Feb. 2, 2008 — Cliff Phillip, 88, once a familiar face on St. Thomas, died Dec. 29 in Florida, where he moved late in the 1980s. He was living in Palestine, Fla. when he died.
For more than 22 years, Phillip conducted business and had a wonderful time on the island. He owned Island Laundry for several years before taking over the Bar Normandie in Frenchtown.
A college football hero, he played for Wisconsin on a football scholarship. Phillip was a handsome presence, tall with sparkly blue eyes and a ready smile. His athletics on St. Thomas were limited to golf and overseeing one of the island's most popular bars.
He was much more well-known in the bar and restaurant business than the laundry. The Bar Normandie was known for its dancing and parties under Phillip's reign, not the least of which was the birthday party he would throw for himself each year, always keeping his age a closely guarded secret. Not all that closely guarded however; Phillip wasn't shy about letting you know he had been a Navy pilot in World War II.
Ted and Becky Luscz, proprietors of Hook, Line and Sinker restaurant in Frenchtown, shared memories of their old friend and mentor.
"He was like a father to me. He helped me when I took over the Normandie," Ted Luscz said.
Though not a golfer himself, Luscz said, "You should see him on the golf course. He could play a round of 18 holes of golf and tell you every shot of every person on every hole."
Becky Luscz said, "I always remember his dancing — Cliff was such a great dancer."
Phillip was buried at the Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery in January, after a memorial service Jan. 5 at Greenbrier Nursing Home in Palestine, Fla.
His survivors include daughter Jacquelyn Scott, son Clifford D. Phillip Jr.; eight grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. His friends are legion, including Becky and Ted Luscz and Molly and Dan Stecher on St. Thomas.

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