Grave marker inscribed with 'In Loving Memory' - iStock - melissarobison

Obituary - Donald Leroy Phillips

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Donald Leroy Phillips

July 15, 1938 – July 9, 2017

Donald Leroy Phillips was born on July 16, 1936 in Las Animas, Colorado to Carl and Pearl Phillips. Hands and house full, Don was the ninth out of ten children; the family grew up in a house that his grandfather had homesteaded and built in 1909. Don attended first through eighth grade at Penrose School in Southern Bent County. In 1953, Bent County High School graduated Don at the age of 16. Upon graduation, Don was drafted into the army on December 29, 1954; there, he served two years as a Survey Specialist for the 280th atomic cannon.

Returning from the service, Don hit a milestone when he met and married the love of his life Charlotte Denton on May 31, 1958. To this union were born four children; Ronald Lee, Justin Ray, Teresa Dawn, and Steven Douglas. Don worked for his brother, who was a carpenter contractor until moving to Eads, Colorado in November of 1971. Within a few short years of living in Eads, Don worked with Gene Forsyth until he gained the ambition to purchase the bowling alley in 1977. A man of many traits, he soon gave in with the bowling alley, selling it in trade for the Lovett building. There, Charlotte and Don opened a well respected flower shop, serving the surrounding counties. After several years in business, the flower shop closed and opened the door for Don to serve the community. Don worked for the school district and also Kiowa County as maintenance man at the courthouse. A life full of work, Don decided to throw in the hat and retire in 1990 due to health reasons.

A wonderful father and an even better husband, Don raised a strong and prosperous family. A family that strongly reflects 1 Timothy 4:12; “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, and in faith and purity.” If there was anything Don instilled in his children, it was a character full of manners, integrity, and the hard work behind the value of the dollar. Known for his bright eyes and willingness to lend a hand, Southern Colorado was more than familiar with his work. There wasn’t a car model that could trick the slick hand of ole’ Donald Phillips; saving time, money, and possibly a butt whoopin or two, Don was quick on the scene of a locked car. If you were to step foot into Don’s garage, you would quickly realize it was tailored to be his palace. His place of rest, work, and countless times of pondering, Don had an open garage for anybody who needed a handyman. If you ever claimed to be doing “nothin,” Don was swift in his step to ask if you needed help with that.

Aside from various work, Don fancied the gambling life. Cured with a daily dose of scratch tickets and Colorado Lotto, Don loved to take his chance at Cripple Creek. Although that was his favorite, he was known to wander off in hopes of more luck. Speaking of wandering off, in midst of a graduation celebration in Oklahoma, Don disappeared. Worried, the family started looking. To our surprise, or not so much, Don had wandered off to the local casino, dragging Charlotte along with him.

Don had many hobbies, but among the most valuable to his life were the ones that involved his grandkids. A religious spectator of all sports and events, Don lived to see the success of his loved ones. From helping with fair and the local FFA chapter, his efforts were duly noted by the members and community. In 2013, Don and Charlotte were awarded the Honorary Chapter FFA Degree. A heart of gold, the animals and students were considered a large part of Don’s life; the extra umph that kept him going. Fishing, Hunting, and nature in general built a solid foundation for Don’s life. Enjoying various trips with his brothers and kids, Don loved the outdoors.

On Sunday July 9, 2017, Don departed this world surrounded by his family. Preceding him in death was his mother and father, two brothers, four sisters, and one granddaughter. Don is survived by his wife Charlotte of the family home; children: Ronald Phillips of Las Animas, Justin (Arlene) Phillips of Spearville, Kansas, Teresa Witte of Eads, Colorado, Steven (Kim) Phillips of Wiley, Colorado; brother Gail (Eva) Phillips of Las Animas, Colorado, sisters Darlene Sacks of Peabody, Kansas, Fern (Harold) Morlan of Las Animas, and 15 grandchildren and 25 great-grandchildren. Overall, Don had a great life; stuffed with hugs and kisses, his family was his world. It is told that a man never dies as long as his name is still spoken. Tell the story, share the memory, and laugh in remembrance of what an impact Donald Phillips had on all our lives.

Don’s life was celebrated on Thursday, July 13, 2017 at the Praise Community Church in Eads.  Memorial contributions can be sent to the Praise Community Church or the Eads Senior Citizens Center.  Friends and family can register online condolences and sign the guestbook at  Visitation and funeral services were entrusted to the care of the Brown Funeral Home