James Philip "Phil" StrattonHouston, TX, 1921 - 2014
James Philip "Phil" Stratton, a longtime Conway resident, beloved father, attorney and political activist/advisor, passed away on Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2014 in Houston, Texas. Born in Calhoun County, Ark. on Aug. 7, 1921 and raised in Crossett, Mr. Stratton was long a fixture in the Faulkner County and Arkansas political scenes. In the early 1960s, he served as Gov. Orval Faubus's senior political advisor at the Capitol while earning his law degree from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. In the mid-1960s, Phil moved to Conway and began his law practice in partnership with State Senator Guy H. "Mutt" Jones. Establishing himself as one of the county's best-respected attorneys, Mr. Stratton specialized in appellate and trial law, practicing into his 90s.
Phil always maintained his love of politics, managing several campaigns for his life-long friends, Justice Jim and Virginia Johnson, among others. He assisted in countless local campaigns, and was known and loved for his good cheer and his high-quality, home-made silk screens used for painting lawn and road signs for candidates. For decades, as well, Phil's homemade jellies, jams and wines were highly sought-after commodities.
An alumnus of the University of Arkansas, where he served as an editor on the Traveler student newspaper, Phil worked as a newspaperman and commercial artist after graduation, with the Fort Smith Southwest Times-Record and other papers. He loved to regale friends, family and visitors with stories from his life's many adventures. Phil was happiest when out on Lake Beaverfork, trolling for bass and crappie, watching the Razorbacks, Cardinals and Cowboys with family and friends and tending his blueberries and muscadine vines.
Phil is survived by his daughter, Sabrina Stratton, of Houston, and his son, Christopher Stratton, of West Hartford, Conn. and by his two sisters, Katherine Dixon of Crossett and Gloria Buckaloo of Memphis. In keeping with his wishes, the family respectfully requests that memorial gifts be made to: Arkansas Children's Hospital Foundation, P.O. Box 2222, Little Rock, AR 72203-9984. Memorial reception at Conway Country Club, Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014 from 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Published November 9, 2014