J. W. Phillips, M.D.

James William Phillips

b. 17 Apr 1907
d. 04 Aug 2001 - Newport News, VA - age 94


 My ...ophthalmologist was Dr. Phillips.  He had been my daddy's roommate when they were attending
MCV Now I can't even recall his first name.  I must be losing it or something........

- Carol Buckley Harty ('65) of NC - 01/13/06

White Optical is still in business. It is run by Mr. Carl White and is now located in the Warwick Village Shopping Center on Warwick Boulevard, next to the Food Lion. I got my first pair of glasses from White's at the West Avenue location, and Dr. Phillips was my doctor. His office was upstairs in the Medical Arts Building above White's. I just recently took my granddaughter to Mr. White to get fitted for her first pair of glasses. and we were talking about how I was about the same age when I got my first pair at the West Avenue location and then they were located on Main Street in the back building next to the main (316 Main Street) building where Dr. Phillips had moved his practice. Then they moved to the Brentwood Shopping Center next to the Video Store. When the Grocery Store closed, Mr. White moved to his current location.

Dr. Phillips was in practice with Dr. Levy, Dr. Moore, and Dr. Frantz they moved into the Office Building that was Thomas Optical in the back on the Left side of 316 Main Street and later opened a branch in Denbigh near the Mary Immaculate Hospital Complex on McMannus Boulevard. A few years ago they were bought by Riverside Hospital Corporation and they moved to a new office in the Oyster Point area on Rock Landing Drive. When Dr. Phillips retired I became Dr. Frantz's patient, and when Dr. Frantz retired (temporally) I became Dr. Kitay's patient and that is where I am now still with the same association after all these years. The corporations and owners have changed and the doctors have retired, but the original group is still around;
small world we live in. 

- Catherine Slusser Hudson ('64) of VA - 01/14/06
WOWZERONI!!!  Thanks so much for that history, Cathy!

My eye doctor was Dr. Phillips as well and I spent many a day in White Optical Company offices too!  I remember the library was next door or just down the street and I loved that building....

- Sarah Puckett Kressaty ('65) of VA - 01/14/06
Thanks, Sarah!


The ophthalmologist in the Medical Arts Building was Dr. James William Phillips (1907-2001). He was known everywhere as "J. W." I had a sort of "stretched in-law" relationship to J. W. My mother's brother, David Arnold Lloyd married his sister, Catherine Phillips.

J. W. was a dedicated yachtsman. I sailed with him a couple of times in one of his long series of boats. He was fond of saying, "I have sailed the Chesapeake Bay most of my life and there are still places I haven't yet been."

He had two sons, Thomas Walton, b. 1942, and Ronald William, b. 1946. I can't recall ever meeting them.

- Fred Field ('45) of CA - 01/16/06
WOWZERONI-RINI!!! Thanks so much, Fred!


Dr. Phillips was our doctor, too. You probably remember that, but I have missed many of your newsletters. Playing catch-up is the best I can do now. Do you remember White Optical Company? Baba and I were walking from the car to White Optical Company one day when a man walking toward us stepped on the edge of the sidewalk, probably to give us more room to pass. In doing so, the man tripped but didn't fall. He just stumbled a little and then regained his composure. The maneuvers looked like a funny little dance, and I laughed. Baba was apparently embarrassed that I laughed, and she said, "Great American sense of humor! You'd have cracked your sides laughing if he'd broken his leg." This was nearly as funny as the dance, so I laughed even more.
I still like the dance. The man did it so well. Did you see the man dance in AI (2001)? I dislike the movie, but I love that dance, too, and especially his reply when the boy asked why he did it. The man replied, "Because that's what I do." That's one of my favorite lines.

- Eleanor Buckley Nowitzky ('59) of NC - 01/17/06
Thanks, Eleanor!  Your timing is impeccable! I had just created this page when your note arrived.
I remember Dr. Phillips, White Optical Company, and the Medical Arts Building quite well.  I didn't see the movie, but I do believe we should all dance through life more than we do - in elevators, for instance.

I went to Dr. Phillips and White's for my first eye exam and glasses when the 6th grade teacher discovered that I could not see the board.  Dr. Phillips discovered that I had a lazy eye!  However it was many years later as an adult that another eye specialist prescribed prism for me and I stopped covering an eye to read!  I used to think it was pretty neat to make my lazy eye "wander"...people kept telling me "it might freeze that way"  so I stopped doing it! 

- Jean Poole Burton ('64) of VA - 01/22/06
COOL!  Thanks, Jean!


(This page was created on 01/17/06.)

Clip art courtesy of http://www-nmclph.med.navy.mil/HM_DT_Homepage.htm - 01/17/06

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