John Paul Phillips, M.D. |

John Paul Phillips, M.D.

John Paul

Phillips, M.D.

October 14, 1932 – March 11, 2021

John Paul Phillips peacefully passed away March 11th after 88 remarkable years. He was surrounded by loving family, and retained his exceptional poise and grace throughout.

After being raised by loving parents in Dumas, Arkansas, John majored in Botany at Hendrix College (’53), attended the University of Tennessee Medical School (’56), then completed a top neurosurgery residency at UT Memphis. He became an acclaimed neurosurgeon in Monterey County, garnering numerous honors.

A caring physician, John was truly beloved by patients, his devoted office staff, colleagues, and friends. He served as hospital Chief of Staff, and led his private practice with trademark elegance and grace. He regularly taught UC San Francisco and Stanford University neurosurgery residents. John’s retirement from private practice generated an outpouring of affection from every corner of the community.

John remained a devoted, loving husband to June Dunbar, M.D. for 57 years. “I may have style, but she has all the class,” he would say. His charm and warmth shined brightest around her. Always a proud father, he was quick to offer his quiet loving assurance and support, allowing his boys to flourish. He always found time to get outside with June and the boys—regularly sailing, swimming almost every day, and creating family hiking adventures. The family’s numerous adventures included June’s native Alaska, Western Europe, the Big Island of Hawaii, and plenty of time in Lake Tahoe both in the summer and winter, before moving here permanently in 2013.

John especially loved spending time with his grandchildren—he was so proud of them. He served for many years on the Carmel Bach Festival Board. And, he enjoyed his many years with the Tahoe Yacht Club, participating in various events on the lake.

He will be interred at his Alma Mater, Hendrix College, in Arkansas. An online memorial is scheduled for April 18th and an in-person service is pending.

You deserve the best, John, Dad. You made the world a better place. We will deeply miss you. All our love,

June and Family

Correspondence may be sent to June Phillips at

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