The Greatest Man I ever knew

Discussion in 'OFF-Topic / Misc.' started by Donivanp, Nov 7, 2015.

  1. Donivanp

    Donivanp Well-Known Member

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    #1 Donivanp, Nov 7, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2015
    The Greatest Man I ever knew
    An unassuming gentleman passed quietly this morning, 7 November 2015, most would not notice. He was a frail old man who could not take care of himself any longer. Born on July 22ed 1926 in the small town of Decatur Arkansas, to Mary and Ode Phillips he was the youngest boy in a whole heard of young one.
    As a baby he was moved to a farming community in Bethel Oklahoma where he would start his young life and see tragedy when at age nine, his mother was taken from him by deaths angle, and then a few short month later holding his fathers hand, he to was taken from him by the deaths open hand.
    Having several older siblings and aunts and uncles in the same place, Uncle Baker worked to keep them all together and not get farmed out during the great depression. As things would be, he got into a bit of trouble and ran away from home and wondered on south to Texas. Finding places to work and live as he moved across the country he grew up and fit in.
    Near the in of World War II he was drafted into the Army. Not wanting anything to do with this outfit he succumbed to basic training till one day someone came looking to volunteers to join the Air Borne. Thinking nothing could be worse then basic training he raised his hand and transferred to Air Borne training at Ft Brag. Boy was he wrong! Halfway through training (already twice as long as it would have been to complete basic) he was washed out from Air Borne training to have cataract removed from his eyes. Following successful removal, the war being over, they did not know quite what to do with him. So, they gave him to US Army Air Corp. They not knowing what to do with a highly trained fine tuned killing machine, made him and MP, and sent him to guard an air base outside of Tokyo Japan.
    Not having any combat point for rotation, he reenlisted so he could get a DOR and get out, not wanting to be there in the first place. So in the logic of the government he enlisted for two years so he could get out early. While on duty someone stole a dump truck and drove it through his gate. He called for them to halt but they would not stop. He pulled his trusty 1911 .45 caliber pistol and emptied it into the back of the truck. After that any time something had to be done that might need a firm hand they would send him, he was not afraid of anything.
    As soon as his time was up he made a bee line to get out and burn those uniforms. Ending up in Clovis New Mexico he got work in lumber. He drifted his was as did most of the rest of the clan out to Oregon for the tall timber, and to cut to the chase met a young lady named Alice who would be his wife. They had six children with two girls and then me, (Mister wonderful), and then two more girls and then NINE years later a son (Bit late to help me out don't ya know).
    He provided a save home with food to eat and clothes on our backs. We as a whole would say had a happy child hood save for the commotion five kids (remember the youngest missed out on all the fun), as dad continued to work in the lumber business. We moved a lot, I should know because I spent 20 years in the Air Force and did not move that much. I would tell anyone, growing up, the shortest we lived in a place was two weeks and the longest was two years. But he found new jobs and moved to them as needed.
    As a child I remember many things, such as when we lived in Beavers Marsh we needed a new septic system. Dad said I could have $5 if I dug out the old pipe. He gave me a two month dead line. I started to genetically dig but soon found it was not much fun and set it aside. So I learned the value of responsibility as I ended up digging the pipe out and for free, If I had followed through with the original bargain I would have had $5, a handsome sum for a 12 year old in 1970. I learned the value of a days work for a days pay.
    I recall buying “Fathers Day” gifts for him and thinking we would get to play with them as we would always buy him toys, not understanding he was the oldest kid in the family, (dad had six kids mom had 7, and he was the oldest). He would take the gifts and play with them just like we would. Christmas was the time he would light up the most, he loved to shower us with gifts. Dolls for the girls and Hot Wells or Tonka trucks for me. One time he told mom lets go get the kids bikes, and she reminded him of the finances, to which he said are you coming with me or not and off they went to get bikes. They were not new but, but they were a dream come true to a young boy in the back woods of Oregon. I would ride like the wind on my gold stingray with the tiger striped banana seat with a sissy bar. Miles and miles of dirt logging roads were mine for the taking as I would play One Adam 12 and Dragnet. Dad would take all of us out for bike rides on the trails, one time I was riding without shoes and got my foot between the front fork and wheel causing a very bad cut. He picked me up and carried me home leaving the bikes to be gotten later, you could do that back then.
    Soon I was old enough and living in Idaho, he and I worked as painters together, what a joy as a young man to be a part of his fathers life at work and we split the pay received 50 50. We went to Missoula Montana and bought my first rifle as he and I bought matching Marlin 30 30 lever action rifles. I went hunting with him and his friends many times but I never had a deer in my sights. Now like him I would rather sit and watch the nature then shoot it. He loved to watch nature shows on tv and we would watch Wild Kingdom and Disney as a family all through my growing up years. Doing things with my Dad was fun most of the time, but not always. Filling up the wood shed for a long cold winter was a lot of work. I recall in Myrtle Point I was splitting wood with a sledge hammer and wedge. I broke the handle by over swinging. Dad got a new handle and off I went again. Again I broke the handle after a while (with in a week) and again he replaced it. This one again was broken in about a week. Dad not wanting to be detoured, and wanting me to perfect my aim, welded a steel pipe on for a handle. The next time I missed, I felt it all the way up my spine, and my aim got much better very fast.
    When we lived in Idaho at about 15 years of age, I had a model of a WWII B-24 bomber, and had been playing with model rockets, Dad got the Idea of combining these two together. Why not take the model airplane and tape, oh say 8 D type model rockets to it. Who am I to say this might not be a good Idea? So out we go with gusto and set up a sheet of plywood at about a 45 degree angle to launch the plane, this is gonna be GREAT. We wire it up and dad pull the car over opens the hood and gets ready to set the fusing to the car battery, Are you ready son, he says. Do it dad do it I cry. He sets the leads to the battery and all three engines on one wing and on of the two in back light off causing an asymmetric light off and our rocket plane became an uncontrolled rocket powered cart wheel chasing you know who all around the driveway and the oldest child was laughing so hard I thought he would fall over.
    As I grew older he helped us all to learn to drive. Dad with the patients of Job and mom sleeping (hiding) in the back seat of that huge 69 Lincoln off I would go down the road. When I got my license and would drive my self around. One evening we were to have a youth group get together in Myrtle Creek, I was 18 and near graduation. Dad gave me the keys and said “don't let anyone in the car with you, One boy a whole boy, two boy, half a boy, three boy, None!” What in the would did that mean, off I went, the party was great but we found we needed to change venue and who could take the most in a car, well with a Lincoln what should you think and off we went with a car full of kids. Having to show off I hit the gas and fishtailed in some rocks ending in a drainage ditch no worse for the ware. As luck would have it the house belonged to church friend and they helpd out and called dad. Soon he and my Charley showed up in Charles’s pickup. Dad asked if everyone was OK, and then said nothing more. Two weeks went by and he gave me the keys one day saying “you better go drive before you get scared to, but if you have another wreak you had better head the other way because the Air Force won't want you when I get done.” and that was the end of that.
    A wiser man I have not known, he may have not been a “Great leader” but he thought me to be a man and that is more them many get. It is said that any man can be a father, but it takes a real man to be a dad. Ervin K. Phillips was the greatest dad any son could ever want.
    I love you dad.
     

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  2. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    My deepest and most heartfelt sympathy for your loss....
     
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  3. Wildcat

    Wildcat Well-Known Member

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    I'm sorry for your loss Doni, your Dad sounds like he was a great man. You've written a really nice tribute to him. Keep your chin up mate.
     
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  4. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Sorry for your loss. My condolences.
     
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  5. at6

    at6 Well-Known Member

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    So very sorry for your loss.
     
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  6. Vic Balshaw

    Vic Balshaw Well-Known Member

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    My thought are with you and the family Don.
     
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  7. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    Condolences to you and your family Don...and to your father..RIP :salute:
     
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  8. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    Joining all. I'm sorry for your loss Don. :( My condolences.
     
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  9. Donivanp

    Donivanp Well-Known Member

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    Thanks guys, the tears are mostly joyful ones. He was a whole lot of fun and this is a celebration of a life lived well.
     
  10. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    My condolences. That generation was really a great one.
     
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  11. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Really sorry to hear of your loss Don, my condolences. :(
     
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  12. fubar57

    fubar57 Well-Known Member

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    Very sorry to hear this Don. My thoughts are with you and your family.



    George
     
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  13. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

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    Damn man. Had to stop reading. Made me miss my own dad.

    It takes time, but it does get better.
     
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  14. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    A great tribute, and Im sad to hear the news
     
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  15. bobbysocks

    bobbysocks Well-Known Member

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    Sorry to hear about your loss. I fully understand what you are going through and will go through. I lost my father several years back. we were very close so I lost not only a father but a very good companion who shared a lot of time with me. it sounds like this is the case with you as well. your memories will keep him forever in your heart and the stories you pass on to your children and grand children will keep him alive and a hero in their lives. good be with you brother.
     
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  16. Marcel

    Marcel Well-Known Member

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    Condolenses, Doni.
     
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  17. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    My deepest sympathy, but what a wonderful post.
     
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  18. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

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    Sorry for your loss, Donivan, your eulogy was very touching. My dad was a bit of a dick, so I didn't feel the same way when he died.
     
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  19. javlin

    javlin Well-Known Member

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    Sorry to hear that Don but he sounds like he was a good person.
     
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  20. Donivanp

    Donivanp Well-Known Member

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    in an epitaph today I receivedmy father's flag case, made by my brother. below his mine and his together..

    20160408_160125.jpg 20160408_163552.jpg
     
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