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Dr Jeff Phillips

April 16, 1959 - June 14, 2019

Jeff Phillips passed away June 14, 2019 at the age of 60. He is leaving a wake of sadness, but also an abundance of great memories that will live on for his family and friends. He has been described as a man of integrity with a solid moral compass who served others wholeheartedly.

Jeff was born in Millville, New Jersey to Phyllis (MacDougall) and John Phillips. From a young age, he always knew he wanted to be a dentist. After graduating from Millville High School, Jeff started his pre-dental education at Ursinus College in Pennsylvania but soon transferred to Western Washington University in Bellingham to finish his undergraduate degree. This is where he met the love of his life, Lori Venemon, in the coed dormitory.

Jeff and Lori moved to Hackensack, New Jersey where he attended dental school at Fairleigh Dickenson University. After his first year, Jeff and Lori married. Once he finished dental school in 1985, they moved to the southwest and worked for nearly four years on the Navajo Reservation for the Indian Health Service in Winslow, Arizona. He loved his work there and made a substantial impact treating the serious public health issue of baby bottle tooth decay. While in Winslow, Jeff and Lori had their only child, Patrick.

Jeff realized that pediatric patients were his favorite, so he applied and was accepted for a pediatric dentistry residency at Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland. He moved the family, Lori and baby Patrick, up to Portland to complete a two-year specialty program. He then began practicing as a pediatric dentist at Kaiser Permanente in Salem, Oregon. He eventually opened his own private practice, Neighborhood Pediatric Dentistry. Fondly known as Dr. Jeff to all, he was loved and admired by the many children he treated and their parents. An avid volunteer who deeply cared about his community, Jeff worked on the NW Medical Teams mobile dental van providing dental care to uninsured children. He also worked with Stand for Children and Boys & Girls Club, aiding and developing their dental care programs.

Jeff leaves behind his wife of almost 37 years, Lori Phillips, his son Patrick Phillips and Patrick’s soon-to-be wife, Jasmine Lywen-Dill. He is also survived by his father, John Phillips, his brothers Keith (Lorraine) Phillips and Brad (Valerie) Phillips, three nephews and three great-nephews.The memorial service will be Saturday, June 22 at 1:00 pm at Morningside United Methodist Church in Salem, Oregon with a reception to follow. Donations may be made, in his memory, to The Prostate Cancer Foundation or The Arthritis Foundation.

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Guest Book Entries

Please accept my condolences on the passing of your husband Jeff. 

Lori, I am so sad to read of the passing of your beloved husband. You and your family will be in my prayers. Take good care of yourself, Lori!

Dearest Lori,
The love from our hearts reaches out to you and your family.  You and Jeff are Our Family!  We pray for Christ’s peace for you.  We are thankful to God and to you for the sharing and kindness that Jeff and you always showed us.  I doesn’t seem fair when we lose our loved ones, but I can say this,”. I believe Jeff is with Our God in a place where there is no sickness or suffering. We are prayerful that we can see him again, In God’s time.  Jeff is and shall always be our friend.  You all are in our Prayers.”

Dear Lori,

I’m so very sorry for your loss.  Hoping happy memories bring you & Patrick strength & peace at this difficult time and and hugs...


We are so sorry for your loss. May you find comfort in family and friends (Proverbs 17:17). For additional strength, may you find it in God who cares for you (1 Peter 5:7). Please accept our deepest condolences.

Dear Lori,

I am just reading of Jeff’s moving on in the WWU Window publication. Jeff and I knew each other while at Western. We took labs together and I still recall fondly how he and another lab partner and I took our dissected cat out o to the square and posed for pictures with it. Jeff was an amazing
person, full of light who encouraged me having move to Bellingham from Long Island. As I read his story, I see a life well lived in service and one that is celebrated. I am privileged to have k own him. Dave Eisenhardt