Phillip Bernard Lankford, 87, of Altus, passed away Friday, March 14, 2014. Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Tuesday at First United Methodist Church in Altus with the Rev. David Player officiating. Burial will follow, with military honors, at the Altus City Cemetery under the direction of Kincannon Funeral Home.
Phillip Lankford was born June 29, 1926 to Frank and Irene (Fowler) Lankford in Martha. He began working for the United State Bureau of Reclamation in 1942. As a teenager, Phil worked on the W.C. Austin Project. His employment was interrupted as he was drafted to serve in World War II as a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division. He was also a member of the 82nd Airborne Honor Guard and served in that capacity at the retirement parade of General Hap Arnold and President Truman's inaugural parade.
On June 27, 1947, Phillip married his true love, Mary Ella Marie Tabb in Blair. They loved and lived life to the fullest for 66 years.
After returning to his career with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, in 1946, Phil attended numerous schools to further his education including; Earth and Concrete Construction School in Denver, Colorado, Construction Demolition School in Sacramento, California and Management school in Dallas, Texas. He worked on dams in Montana, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas and Oklahoma. In Nebraska and Arizona, he constructed transmission lines, tunnels and canals. Phil also enjoyed farming and raising cattle on their farm in the Friendship area.
Phillip was a member of the Montana Masons and proudly wore his 60 year pin. Other organizations he served included the National Association of Retired Federal Employees and the Jackson County Excise Board. In his later years, Phil enjoyed drinking coffee and visiting with his "coffee buddies" every morning at 6 a.m. at McDonalds.
Phil loved his church and was a member of the Friendship Methodist Church and then the First United Methodist Church in Altus.
Mr. Lankford was preceded in death by his parents; one sister, DeErma Tippie; four brothers-in-law, J.W. Tippie, Gerald Nipp, Steve Butler, Ross Lingle, and Dotson Tabb: and two sisters-in-law, Mildred Tabb and Clariece Lingle-Simmons.
Phillip is survived by his wife, Mary, of the home; two children, Pamela Carol Harrison and husband Robert of Okeene, and Jon Phillip Lankford and wife Andrea of Cordell; one sister, Jo Reta Nipp of Amarillo, Texas; one brother, Roland Lankford and wife Nelda of Amarillo, Texas; four grandchildren, Tyler Harrison and wife Amelia of Lindsay, Anna Harrison of Norman, John Raymond of Altus, and James Raymond and wife Kadie of Austin, Ark.; two great-grandsons, Chase Raymond and River Raymond; and a host of family and friends.
Visitation for family and friends will be from 6 to 8 p.m., Monday at Kincannon Funeral Home. Online tributes may be made at kincannonfuneralhome.com