Phebus & Koester, LLP
136 West Main Street
Urbana, IL 61801
(217) 337-1400 www.phebuslaw.com
NAPLES, Fla. - Joseph W. Phebus was born Feb. 13, 1940, and died Nov. 21, 2015, in Naples, Fla., after a seven-month illness.
He leaves behind his wife, Carolyn, of 35 years, and four sons, Michael Campbell (Heidi), John Campbell (Janice), John Phebus and Doug Phebus (Brenda). He also leaves nine wonderful grandchildren: Jennifer Campbell, Joey Campbell, Jack Campbell, Katie Campbell, Robert Campbell, Chris Campbell, Natalie Phebus, Ian Phebus and Will Phebus.
His parents, Darius and Frances Phebus, preceded him in death as did his stepmother, Virginia. Joe also leaves behind a brother, William Phebus (Nancy), and two sisters, Margaret Moore (Larry) and Mary Killey (Dick).
Joe was born in Champaign and went to school in Urbana. In 1962 he graduated from the University of Illinois in metallurgical engineering. After serving in the Army, he returned to the UI College of Law where he graduated in 1968 and received at that time the Scholastic Award of Order of the Coif.
He was an officer in the U.S. Army from Aug. 13, 1962, to Nov. 19, 1964. He was in the active reserve from Nov. 19, 1964, to July 30, 1969. His last assignment was the 12th Special Forces Group Airborne.
He was a partner in Phebus and Koester Law Firm (formerly Phebus and Winkelmann and before that Phebus, Tummelson, Bryan and Knox), from 1971 to the present time.
His merit recognitions were: Illinois Top 100 Lawyers, Illinois Super Lawyers (Crain's Chicago Magazine) 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, Illinois Top 100 Lawyers 2007. He received many more awards too numerous to mention.
His civic positions were alderman for the City of Urbana, 1968 to 1971, and mayor pro tem, City of Urbana 1971. He was also a member of the American Arbitration Association.
His corporate positions were: Visual Information Technologies, co-founder and director 2005 to 2015, Western Lion Limited, chairman of the board 1982 to 1991, Cable Communications 1972 to 1982 co-founder and director, and part owner of the cable franchise for Champaign-Urbana.
He dearly loved his wife and family and the practice of law.