By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
River Oaks Golf Course founder Jim Phipps dies
Placeholder Image
Jim Phipps, the man who founded and owned River Oaks Golf Course in Ceres, was found dead in his Ceres home Tuesday.

A family member found Mr. Phipps inside his home near the golf course at approximately 3:30 p.m. and called authorities. There was no cause of death immediately available.

Jimmie Dale Phipps attended Ceres High School where he met his future bride, Carol Marie Romesha. They married on July 27, 1951 and moved to Fremont in 1958, where Jim was in the insurance business. With his wife he developed a very successful real estate business. Jim's health prompted the couple to move to an almond ranch in Hickman in 1970. Mr. Phipps moved back to Ceres in 1973. Jim started the first Ceres cable TV franchise. In 1979, Jim and Carol developed River Oaks Golf Course in Ceres. Both Jim and Carol ran the businesses with family members.

Mr. Phipps helped to start the Junior Golf program at River Oaks, ultimately introducing the sport of golf to over 8,000 area youth. He also used the golf course to raise tens of thousands of dollars for Community Hospice and for Ceres High School.

Carol Phipps died a year ago on Aug. 31, 2008.

Mr. Phipps' personal life was punctuated with a series of tragedies. He watched three of his sons pass away. Son William H. Phipps died in an airplane crash in Alaska, Douglas A. Phipps died of cancer, and son Robert L. Phipps, a member of the Ceres City Council, died of a heart attack at age 44 on Dec. 2, 2007.

He leaves behind two children, Michael D. Phipps of Ceres and Janis M. Phipps of Hughson; six grandchildren, Jared Phipps of Australia, Jonathan Carmean and Dustin Phipps, both of Hughson, Kristen Phipps of Hickman, Lindsay Phipps of Modesto, and Amanda Phipps of San Luis Obispo; and two great-grandchildren.