Nashua man dies in bike-pickup accident

Bob Philips, former grocery owner, remembered for his dedication to kids through both music and tae kwon do

A beloved Nashua man who co-owned a grocery store for years died last week in a pickup-bicycle accident.Bob Philips was 69 and training for what he hoped would be a special RAGBRAI.”I will never forget going to B&D when I was younger and seeing Bob,” Gateway to Northeast Iowa Welcome Center Director Jen Hauser said. “He was that familiar, smiling, friendly face. A very energetic, talented man who will be greatly missed by many.”Philips graduated from the University of Northern Iowa in 1969 and taught vocal music in Lake Mills and Greene for four years.In 1973, he went to work for B&W Foods in Greene and Nashua and several years later, he purchased the business, renaming it B&D Foods, which remained open until 2009.But it was his love for music that made him an integral part of the Nashua and Charles City communities.He was the music director — playing the organ, directing the choir and singing at numerous masses — at St. Michael’s Catholic Church and also performed with the Immaculate Conception Church and Charles City Singers choirs.For years, he served as an assistant to his wife, Mary, on plays and musicals at Nashua-Plainfield High School.“Bob was an amazing person,” said Nashua-Plainfield High School Choir Vocal Director Melanie Johanningmeier. “He was always there for me to help with sectionals, set-up, lights and for anything I asked. He loved working with the kids and they in return loved working with him.”Later in life, Philips was part of Jung's Tae Kwon Do in Nashua and New Hampton.Phillips took up cycling in recent years after he served as the support person for his daughter Laura’s team on RAGBRAI.In 2014, he rode three days of the annual bike ride across Iowa, and this year he was planning on completing the entire seven-day route.He was training Wednesday morning and riding south on Floyd County Road T64 when his bicycle was struck by a Chevrolet pickup driven by Todd Schriever, 50, of Marble Rock.The Iowa State Patrol said its investigation is continuing. The Patrol was assisted at the scene by the Floyd County Sheriff’s Office and AMR Ambulance.Many, though, remembered a life well lived. His love of community was far reaching.“He was definitely a kind, giving man who thought a lot of others,” said Boy Scout Leader Rick Baxter, who added that Philips was his Boy Scout leader years ago.And those who love music in Nashua know they lost a dear friend in Philips.“His dedication and love of music was evident in his actions,” Johanningmeier said. “We not only lost an accompanist but a music advocate and a good friend. Bob will remain forever in our hearts.” 

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