Phillip R. Price, 75, of Lancaster, passed away Sunday morning.
Phillip graduated from Prestonsburg High School in 1952 before entering a lifetime of public service, enlisting in the U.S. Air Force and serving as an early warning radar operator in the 911th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron in Vermont, New York, and Texas during the Cold War.
Following his Honorable Discharge from military service, Phillip returned to his beloved Kentucky, where he began his service to the Commonwealth as a Kentucky State Trooper in Johnson, Fleming, and Elliott counties. His success as a Trooper and his reputation for integrity and fairness gained him the attention of the Federal government, and in 1967 Phillip was recruited to join the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Division of the IRS, (known today as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, or, ATF), where he investigated and prosecuted our country's most violent armed criminals.
During his 23-year career with ATF, Phillip held field and supervisory assignments in Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan and Washington, D.C., where he retired in 1988 as the Chief of the Special Operations Division. Upon his retirement from ATF, Phillip began a second career as an investigator for the U.S. Department of State, serving the Bureau of Diplomatic Security for 25 years until his passing.
Phillip is survived by his wife of 30 years, Deirdre, with whom he travelled the world, only to find his truest happiness at Shadowlawn, the home they built together in Lancaster. Phillip is also survived by his sister, Helen Coburn of Livermore, Calif.; his daughter, Lori Gibbs, of The Plains, Va.; his son, Adam, of Washington, D.C.; his grandson, Matthew Gibbs, of Pensacola, Fla.; his niece, Karen Stanfield, of Lexington; his niece, Tammy Thurman, of Livermore, Calif.; and his nephew, Tony Coburn, of Sonoma, Calif. Also mourning Phillip's loss is Roxann Stacey of Sherrills Ford, N.C., his first wife and the mother of his children, and her husband Anthony Stacey, with whom he remained close. He is preceded in death by his mother, Lilia Mae Price, and sister, Patsy Evans, of Prestonsburg.
Phillip was a proud member of the Corinth Christian Church, in Richmond, presided over by his nephew, Pastor David Evans, of Richmond. A viewing is planned for Friday, Sept. 13, from 5 to 8 p.m., at Spurlin Funeral Home, 1164 Lexington Road, in Lancaster. Viewing will be followed by a brief service at 8 p.m.