Robert Phillips |

Robert Phillips

Robert E. Phillips of Aptos died Tuesday, March 1, at home, after an illness. He was 81.

Dr. Phillips was born in 1923, in Evansville, Ind., and moved to California as an infant. He graduated from Glendale Hoover High School in 1940, and received a bachelor of the arts in electrical engineering from California Institute of Technology in 1945, under the Navy V-12 program. He then attended Notre Dame Officer Training and served in the U.S. Navy as a lieutenant after graduation. He returned to Caltech for a B.A. in chemistry and graduated in 1953, with a Ph.D. in genetics. He spent most of his professional career as a vice president and sales manager for Turner Design. While at Turner he developed many procedures for the Turner fluorometer, including the “Heel Stick” test given to all newborns in California hospitals. He also flew a light airplane over the U.S. and Canada for 20 years for Turner.

He had been a resident of Nevada County before moving to Aptos in January. He was a member of the Men’s Club at Lake Wildwood and served as a docent at the Imaginarium in Grass Valley for seven years.

He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Genelia “Gigi”; daughters April Lancaster, Shelly Gartman, Sharyn Howard and Denise Watkins.

Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of the Foothills or Hospice Home Care in Aptos.

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