Donald William Phillips

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Donald "Don" William Phillips, 69, died of cancer Saturday, Jan. 12, at Kalispell Regional Medical Center.

A memorial service is 11 a.m. Friday at Christ Lutheran Church, 5150 River Lakes Parkway in Whitefish. Cremation has taken place, and Don's ashes will be interred in Whitefish Cemetery at a later time. Austin Funeral Home handled arrangements.

He was born March 13, 1943, in Whitefish. Don graduated from Whitefish High School in 1961. After high school, he went to work for the Montana Department of Transportation as a surveyor. After that he was hired on the Great Northern/BNSF railroad, where he worked for 39 years as a conductor. He belonged to the UTU and retired from rail service in 2003. Don served as a volunteer fireman in Whitefish for 20 years. Don loved woodworking, his lawn and flowers, as well as attending the Whitefish High School sporting events. Don was an active member of the booster club, where he made wooden bulldogs for families and athletes. He was a wonderful father who always could be seen watching his children coach and play sports after high school, as well as attending many events to watch his friend's children and grandchildren. Don and Jeanie were very active in the Community Center, shoveling snow and delivering Meals On Wheels. Don also kept several of his neighbors driveways and walkways shoveled out for many years. It wasn't unusual to see Don and his snowblower going around the neighborhood helping others.

Don was preceded in death by his parents, Bill and Pat Phillips; his sister, JoEllen Cookson and her husband, Hank; his nephew, Kenny Kasselder; and his mother and father-in-law, Hank and Marie Scheafer.

He is survived by his loving wife, Jeanie (Scheafer) Phillips; son Aaron; and daughter Aarica. He is also survived by his brother, Lyle Phillips and Judy; sister Debbie Phillips; and many nieces and nephews; as well as good friends, Jim Pettis and Tom Barringer and many more. Don was a lifelong resident of Whitefish.

Condolences may be posted online at and/or

Published in Great Falls Tribune on Jan. 15, 2013
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