Joseph Peter Patrick Philip, Jr.
March 18, 1947 --

Dean of non Asian Grand Masters

Viet Nam Veteran -- United States Marine Corps
Grand Master -- Chung do Kwan Tae Kwon-Do

(This Celebration of Life is prepared for Hagarty-Waychoff-Grarup Funeral Services)

Joseph, born in New Orleans, has journeyed around our Sun 75 times. He lives in Waterloo, Iowa while battling Advanced Stage IV-B cancer that has metastasized to his bones, lymph nodes, and lungs, after being exposed to Agent Orange while serving his Country in Viet Nam during the 1960's. After diagnosis, he has fought for 22 years, recently spending 18 months in Arizona, where he received advanced treatment. He has undergone a total of 62 Chemotherapy infusions, is receiving palliative care through the VA Health Care System, (special thanks to Brian Kirschling , O.D., Carol Dunne, RN) and concurrent care through Cedar Valley Hospicc.

He is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps where he earned the rank of Sergeant before his 20th birthday. Sergeant Philip was decorated with 13 ribbons and medals, including the Cross of Gallantry with Silver Star for valor in Viet Nam.

In spite his 22 year battle with cancer, Grand Master Philip's dedication to teaching the Traditional style of Chung do Kwan Tae Kwon-Do has produced an unprecedented 968 Distinguished Black Belts, including a Grand Master, 6 Senior Masters, 29 Master Instructors, and 424 Junior Black Belts. He is the only French Creole (African American) to become an International Tournament Official, Referee and Certified "Grand Master." From 1976 to 1990, he served as Chairman and Chief Instructor of the Iowa, Nebraska and Minnesota Region of the American Chung do Kwan Tae Kwon-Do Association (ACTA). During his tenure, he was responsible for supervising 18 Instructors and presiding as Chief Testing Judge for more than 15,000 students, including 3,000 Black Belts.

Grand Master Philip began his career in Des Moines in 1969. After intensive training in Topeka, Kansas, SabBumNim return to Iowa in 1976 to become Chief Instructor of the UNI Tae Kwon-Do Club on the campus of the University of Northern Iowa, where he directed the Sport Club for 44 years. He is the only French Creole (African American) to achieve a ranking higher than the 3rd Dan. In 2007, through the wisdom of the Korean Grand Masters, Joseph Philip, while a 7th Dan, was respected with the title "KwanJangNim" (Head of Household), making him the only non Asian to hold that title. In 2020, he became the first non Asian 9th Dan and Grand Master. For several years, he was a CPR and First Aid Instructor for the American Red Cross, served on the Board of Directors of the Conestoga Council of Girl Scouts, the Black Hawk-Grundy Mental Health Center, the Black Hawk County Economic Development Board, and the My Waterloo Days Committee. He also served as Commandant of the Black Hawk Detachment of the Marine Corps League. He serves as the Chaplain of the American Legion, Post 138. In 2008, KwanJangNim was presented the Golden Dome Award, the highest award presented by an Iowa Governor to State employees. He is a general aviation pilot and member of the Disabled American Veterans (100% Service Connected). He is a contributor to UNI's Relay for Life, and St. Jude Children's Hospital.

SabBumNim's favorite and relaxing pastimes include "night-time pattern flying", and "shooting approaches" at the Waterloo airport after a TKD class at the University, spending quality time with his Grand Son Graham, visiting/camping in America's National Parks, and being a Memorial Day Indy 500 Season Ticket holder for 46 years.

GrandPaNim's family include his daughter Master Melissa Philip, 5th Dan (Yeah Daddy!), of Waterloo; Aunt Celestine Boguille of San Diego; adaptive Mom & Dad Tim and Linda Harem of LeGrand, Iowa; special friend Steve Newkirk of Des Moines, and a host of family. Loyal students, Grand Master Daniel Marr, 8th Dan, (Christa); Senior Master Brian Bartemes, 7th Dan, (Maria); Senior Master Brian Gongol, 7th Dan, (Sara);  Senior Master Christopher Scherrer, 7th Dan; Master Matthew Rector, 5th Dan, (Abigail); Master Aaron Reinecke, 4th Dan; Master Michael Wallace, 4th Dan, (Julie). Best good friend, Master Trenton Harem 5th Dan, (Anna), his Mon ami', trusted advisor, most special friend and care giver, and Jake, his cat. He is preceeded in death by his parents, Joseph and Anna Mae, and Snagglepus, Junior, Popcorn, Frank, Trouble and MarMar, his long time cats.

KwanJangJim's funeral services will include a flag draped wooden casket, hand crafted by the Trappist Monks of New Melleray Abbey in Peosta, Iowa. Visitation and Mass will be celebrated by Father Nils de Jesus Hernandez of Queen of Peace Parash in Waterloo. Internment will be at the Iowa Veterans Cemetery (I 80 Van Meter exit) west of Des Moines, where he will receive full military grave-side honors. Services will be conducted by his student who holds a 2nd Dan, Father Andrew Windschitl, an Iowa Paster. The eulogy will be given by Master Trenton Harem.


A Veteran


A Grand Master


General Aviation Pilot

"All gave some -- Some gave all"

Unconditional Love Expect and Assumes Nothing
Yet Is Grateful For Everything

Looking Forward To Dancing With Jesus

To my fellow Nam Vets, Welcome Home

So Be It


Centuries ago the Arapahoe Indians, who lived
in a land known as Centennial, taught their
people that life is precious, and each day 
must be lived to its fullest, because,
"Only The Rocks Live Forever"

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Eternal Father, strong to save,
Whose arm does bind the restless wave,
Who bids the mighty ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep;
O hear us when we cry to Thee

For those in peril on the sea.


Eternal Father, grant, we pray
To all Marines, both night and day
The courage, honor, strength, and skill
Their land to serve, Thy law fulfill
Be Thou the shield forevermore
From every peril to the Corps. Amen.