Friends Remembered: George E. Phillips

George E. Phillips, 82, of Vermilion, Ohio, died Sunday, June 11, 2017, at his home after a brief illness. He was awarded the Carnegie Medal in 1970 for helping save a 48-year-old woman from drowning after she suffered a debilitating back injury while trying to navigate floodwaters in the 1969 Vermilion River flood. Phillips, with two others, piloted a 15-foot racing boat around much debris to the woman’s drifting cruiser. While the other men lifted the woman into their boat, Phillips used his boat to control the cruiser. As both boats moved to within 1,200 feet of a lower bridge, which only had 1 foot of clearance above the water, Phillips disengaged from the cruiser and maneuvered the boat, with all four people aboard it, to a location where the woman could be taken to the hospital for treatment of her injury. The woman’s cruiser hit the bridge, capsized, and sank. Phillips was born in 1935 in Lorraine, Ohio, and was a lifelong Vermilion resident. A veteran of the Army, Phillips built the Valley Harbor Marina, which he owned and operated for more than 50 years. He is survived by his wife, Dolores Phillips, a brother, three sons, two stepchildren, two granddaughters, and two great grandchildren.