Photo: James Philip “Phil” Miesenhelder of Morris  1927 - 2022

“We are all visitors to this time, this place. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love...and then we return home.”

Australian Aboriginal Proverb.

James Philip “Phil” Miesenhelder died peacefully in his home at the age of 95 on December 26th, 2022. Phil had lived in Morris for almost 50 years. Born April 3, 1927, in Palestine, IL, to Frank Miesenhelder and Dorothy Suttcliffe, he attended Robinson Illinois H.S where he played sports and worked at his uncle’s bowling alley. He attended University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, interrupting his education to serve in Germany at the end of World War II. Upon returning to Illinois, he completed his degree in Business and joined the professional bowling circuit.

Following his bowling career, Phil moved to Chicago and joined New England Life Insurance Co., followed by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, and became a Chartered Life Underwriter. As a CLU, Phil continued to be licensed until his passing.

He married Marlene Smeed, the love of his life and best friend. Together, they had one daughter, Sally (John) Hager of Wilmette, IL. He is also survived by four adoring grandchildren: Susan (Nicholas) Heath, Ellen (Thomas) Hackett, Michael and Mary.

With his constant companion by his side, Phil enjoyed travel, golf, tennis and theatre. Ever the Renaissance Man, he loved watching baseball as much as he loved listening to opera and attending the Chicago Symphony on Friday afternoons with Marlene—wrapping up the day with a burger and milkshake at a favorite local haunt. He was a lover of food and city life but was always happy to return home to Morris and sit by the fire.

The family wishes to thank his caregivers: Nikki, Sandy, Jessica, Ashley, Marissa, Tara, Hilary, Robin, Kim, and Laura for their many years of devotion and companionship.

In lieu of flowers please make memorials in Phil’s name to either St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Morris, Il, Ann &Robert Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago or to a charity of your choice.

A memorial for Phil will be held on Saturday, January 14, 2022, from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm at St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church located at 317 Goold Park Drive in Morris. A memorial service will follow 12:00 pm, officiated by Father Michael Dwyer, followed by a gathering at the Parish Hall. Cremation rites will be accorded.

An online guestbook has been made for the family, where you may sign the guestbook, share memories and photographs. You can access this by visiting the website at http://www.ucdaviscallahan.com. Arrangements have been entrusted with U.C. Davis-Callahan Funeral Home, 301 W. Washington Street, Morris, IL.