Elmer (Phil) Clarence Phillips, 92, passed away Sunday, April 21, 2013 at the La Posada Mesilla Valley Hospice in Las Cruces, N.M. Phil was born Nov. 2, 1920 to Clarence Elmer and Mildred Della (Collett) Phillips, the oldest of three sons. He grew up on a horse and cattle ranch near Clifton that specialized in breeding Steel Dust horses. Phil served in the Army Air Corps during World War II as an aircraft engine mechanic. He completed New England Aircraft School in Boston, Mass. in 1942 and the Arizona Institute of Aeronautics in Tucson, Ariz., earning his A and E license in 1950. While ranching was his first occupation, his training during and after World War II led him into a career as a jet engine mechanic, working with multiple aircraft companies. Phil loved to spend time with his family and friends - ready to host a get-together and offer a cup of coffee. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, gardening, bird watching and panning for gold. Phil accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior in 1977. Phil is survived by his loving wife of 38 years, Catherine S.; children, Jessie Blaine (Annette) Phillips, Chad (Kameron) Bushue, Jeremy (Nicky) Phillips and Rebecca Phillips; grandchildren, Heidi (Wade) Alley, Seth Phillips, Payson Rogers and Harley Rogers; great-grandchildren, Jaiden and Trevor Alley; and numerous nieces and nephews. Phil was preceded in death by his parents and brothers, Delbert G. and Leo Phillips. Celebration of life memorial services will be held on Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 11 a.m. at Las Cruces First Assembly on 5605 Bataan Memorial West, Las Cruces with Pastor David Vistine officiating. In lieu of flowers, memorial contribution may be made to La Posada Mesilla Valley Hospice. Those wishing to sign the guest book may do so online at http://www.lapaz-grahams.com/
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Published in Las Cruces Sun-News on Apr. 26, 2013