Spilsbury Mortuary
110 South Bluff Street
St. George, UT 84770
(435) 673-2454
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Philip Ellis

1935 - 2012 Obituary Condolences
Philip Ellis Obituary
Philip Emery Ellis of Santa Clara, Utah passed away into new country on November 20, 2012. Philip was born October 19, 1935 to Royal Edward Ellis and Leola Gertrude Gines in Tabiona, Utah in a one room cabin.

He spent the first 7 year of his life in Tabiona, where he was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in the Tabiona River.

After an accident on the mountain took his dad's right leg, the family moved to Heber, Utah. Phil attended Wasatch High School, where he played football and basketball for Coach Trane and Coach Tree and made lifelong friends. Classmates remember him as very kind and having a good sense of humor.

One day, while driving through Midway, Utah, Phil spotted a cute girl on a horse. Carolyn Buehler became his high school sweetheart. After graduating from high school, he joined the army in 1954 and served in the 6th Infantry Division in Japan for two years. He left behind his girl from Midway, and when he came home on leave they were married. They were blessed with three children. Their marriage was later solemnized in the Logan Temple. They were married for 57 years.

He attended school at Utah State University where he earned a Bachelor's and Master's degree in psychology and education. He earned his Administrative Degree from the University of Utah. He started his career at Union High School as a counselor and basketball coach. He accepted a position in the Uintah School District Office in Vernal, Utah where he later became the Superintendent of Schools in 1981. As Superintendent, he was instrumental in the construction of the new high school and was a strong supporter of the Fine Arts program in the district. He also took a particular interest in the students with Special Needs and was well-loved by those students, who would hang out the windows of the bus and wave at him. He was awarded an "Outstanding Friend to Children" Award by the Utah State PTA for "going the extra mile to improve the quality of life for Utah's Children. During this time, he also served as the President of the Utah Society of School Superintendents from 1985-86. He came full circle in his career and ended up as a counselor at Dixie High School, where he continued to influence the lives of students until his retirement in 1998.

Phil loved horses and owned five Morgan horses and one Quarter horse in his lifetime. His neighbors have commented that "in their next life, they would like to come back as one of Phil's horses." He enjoyed spending time down at his place on the Santa Clara River, where he built a replica of the cabin he was born in, trained his horses, built fires and cooked inedible sour dough biscuits. He was a good steward of the land, leaving a pile of branches as cover for the quail, cleaning the corrals daily, picking up rocks, and enjoying the presence of coyotes, fox, hawks, and especially nesting Great Blue Herons.

Philip loved spending times in the outdoors. In the early years, he loved to hunt and fish and took his boys on many trips into the Book Cliffs, Taylor Mountain, and the Uintah Mountains. He welcomed others on the trips and enjoyed the company of many neighbors, relatives and friends. Over the years, he became more interested in seeing new places, and invited his children and grandchildren on horseback rides on a variety of trails, including a reenactment of the Pony Express Ride, which he organized with the Morgan Horse Association. He liked the line from the movie Lonesome Dove where Gus McCrae says, "There is nothing finer than riding a good horse in new country."

Dad was a faithful member of his church his whole life. He served in a Bishopric, High Council, and in the St. George Temple. He also served in the Nebraska, Omaha mission with Carolyn as his faithful companion. His testimony of the church was quiet but deep.

He enjoyed sports his whole life and was most happy when he could watch his children, grandchildren or the neighbor children compete in various events. He spent countless hours and traveled many miles to attend a grandchild's tennis match, volleyball game, golf match or school event. Every grandchild felt that they were his favorite.

Philip's greatest gifts were his generosity, his sense of humor, his sensitivity toward others, and his ability to make other's laugh and feel good.

He leaves behind his wife Carolyn of Santa Clara, Utah; daughter Sandra (Tim) Ferrell of St. George, Utah; son Steven (Cindy) Ellis of Denver, Colorado; son Ron (Meg) Ellis of West Lafayette, Indiana; 13 beloved grandchildren; 13 great grandchildren; brother Val (Laverne) Ellis, Heber, Utah; sisters LaWana Farnsworth, South Jordan, Utah; Lillie Kohler, Lehi, Utah; Linda (Mike) Killpack, Salt Lake City, Utah; Judy Lindsay, Heber, Utah; numerous nieces and nephews; and two horses. He was preceded in death by one brother Boyd (Dorothy) Gines and one sister Donna (Willis) Stone.

Funeral services will be held on Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 11:00 a.m. at the Santa Clara Chapel on 3440 West Santa Clara Drive. A viewing will be held the evening prior from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the Spilsbury Mortuary, 110 S. Bluff Street, and from 9:00 to 10:30 the morning of the service at the chapel. Burial will be in the Santa Clara Cemetery.

Arrangements are under the care of Spilsbury Mortuary, St. George (435) 673-2454. Family and friends are invited to sign his guest book at .

Published in The Spectrum & Daily News on Nov. 21, 2012
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