Tom Phillips, System Parking


Tom Phillips, System Parking

It is with deep sorrow that we announce the passing of our father, Tom Phillips, on April 6. 2023, after 95 wonderful years of life.

Tom was born in Newport, Kentucky in March 7, 1928 to John and Clara (Haunert) Phillips.  

While working at the Wadsworth Watch Company he met the love of his life Joyce “Betty” who was from Dayton, Kentucky, from that point on they were inseparable until her passing in 2001.

Tom began his career in parking in 1952 as a parking attendant for System Parking in Louisville, Kentucky and because of his exceptional efforts he was rewarded by being promoted to a supervisory position in Chicago. The owner Jack Hazard saw promise in him and asked him to move to Chicago for 6 months to start a new location. Well, we all know how that worked out as from that point on Chicago truly was my dad’s home. Over the years he was promoted to Division Manager, Regional Manager, Vice President and President of the Company. He was also named trustee of the Jack Hazard Trust. During his tenure the company grew to 800 locations nationwide. The majority of the company was sold in the 1990s and System Property Development was formed of which Tom was a member until his death. His total tenure with the combined companies System Parking / System Property Development / Jack Hazard Trust was 71 years. Tom came out of retirement in 1994 to purchase controlling interest in System Parking’s Illinois operations. He established the corporate headquarters in Chicago. 

Since his purchase the company grew from less than 70 locations to over 160 locations in 10 cities and some 900 employees. He grew this business with the help of his three sons William (Ed), Tom A, and John. The company was sold in 2007. Tom remained active in the industry even after the sale of the business. Actively involved in many of the organizations including the National Parking Association, IPMI, California Parking Association, and the Chicago Parking Association. Tom was the first recipient of the Lifetime Achievement award from the National Parking Association and was always active on their Board of Directors, Executive Committee, and numerous committees.

He is survived by his three sons and their spouses, William (Ed) and Cathy, Tom A. and Diana, and John and Elaine. He also has 5 grandchildren, William Jr., Elizabeth, Alyssa, Gwen, and Liv. In addition, he has 7 great grandchildren Angelina, Frankie, Tommy, Louisa, Evie, Titus and Sean.

–The Phillips Family

Article contributed by the Parking PT team.
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