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Dr. Elbert Phillips (1931 – 2004)

HENDERSON, N.Y. – Dr. Elbert Warner Phillips, 72, of Henderson, formerly of Buffalo, died Saturday (Aug. 21, 2004) in St. Joseph’s Hospital in Syracuse. He was born Nov. 26, 1931, in Gowanda, the son of Warner Charles and Lois Anna Miller Phillips.

He was a 1949 graduate of Gowanda High School and a 1953 graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy with a bachelor’s of science in biology and a minor in chemical engineering. In 1956, he joined the Army Reserve at 1st Army Headquarters on Governor’s Island, New York City, as a second lieutenant. He earned his medical degree in 1957 from Upstate Medical Center, Syracuse. He completed his rotating internship at Fitzsimons General Hospital in Denver as a first lieutenant in 1958. He completed his residency in general radiology, including radiation therapy and nuclear medicine at Fitzsimons General Hospital as a captain in the regular army medical corps, and also completed his special training in nuclear weapons ordinance, Sandi Base, Albuquerque, N.M., Nuclear Weapons Depot in 1961. He was an active member of the Nuclear Emergency Team, and chief of radiology, U.S. Army Hospital, U.S. Military Academy, West Point, from 1963 until he retirement in 1965 with the rank of major. In June 1965, he began his practice at Deaconess Hospital in Buffalo. He designed and equipped a new diagnostic radiology office for Century X-Ray Associates in 1973. During the merger of Deaconess and Buffalo General Hospital, he also designed the X-ray department for the new hospital. He was an associate professor of radiology at the state University of Buffalo medical school for 25 years and collected extensive teaching files for radiology. In 1985, he became chief of diagnostic radiology at Buffalo General Hospital. He led a consortium of seven hospitals and their radiology group to purchase the first 1.5 testa super-conducting MRI in Buffalo. He retired from from Buffalo General Hospital in July 1990, and donated his teaching files to the UB medical school. His work was published in medical journals and presented at conference. He was also a member of numerous medical organizations.

His love of family and history inspired him for more than 30 years to research his family genealogy. He spent his retirement years doing woodworking, reading, bird watching, gardening, and enjoying his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Elizabeth Jane Clark Phillips of Henderson, whom he married September 1955; three daughters: Linda Joy Prather of West Point, Ind., Judy Ann Phillips of Forestville and Sandra Lynn Kleftis of Lebanon, Pa.; three sons: Clifford Elbert and David Warner Phillips, both of North Tonawanda, and Brent Wesson Phillips of Clarence; 10 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by a daughter, Colleen Jane Phillips; and a brother, Elmore Leon Phillips.

The funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday in the St. Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church, Forestville. The Rev. Gerald Sheehan, will officiate. Burial will be in Villenova Cemetery in the town of Villenova.

Friends will be received from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday in the Hills Funeral Chapel, 478 Balcom Corners, South Dayton.

Memorials may be made to the Chautauqua County Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 404, Fredonia, N.Y., 14063.

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