Eugene Leroy Phillips, 92, lifelong resident of Milo, Rigby, and Idaho Falls, passed away peacefully of causes incident to age on Friday, Oct. 26, 2012, at Monticello Assisted Living Center in Idaho Falls, surrounded by his family.
He was born Feb. 22, 1920, in Ucon, Idaho, to Eli James Phillips and Francis Jane Barnes Phillips. He attended schools in Ucon. He played football, ran track, and was a four-year starter on the high school basketball team. During World War II, he served in the U.S. Navy in the Pacific on the USS Rincon Hills. After the war, he drove truck for Doug Andrus and Kraft Dairy, and worked for Idaho Potato Growers for 22 years and Pro-Ida for eight years. He farmed in the Ucon and Milo areas for 35 years. He raised his family on the farm in Milo, where he taught each of his children the value of work. They all played together and worked together.
On Nov. 1, 1940, he married Donna Ferguson and they divorced in 1970. They had seven children together, the late James Leroy Phillips, Connie (Howard) Nelson of Roy, Utah, Sandra (Douglas) Wood of Idaho Falls, Alan (Idana) Phillips of Idaho Falls (currently serving a full-time LDS mission in New Jersey) Nancy (Ken) Johnson of Bellevue, Wash., Rodney (Naomi) Phillips of Flagstaff, Ariz., and Donna Farnes of Idaho Falls. He also has 21 grandchildren, 45 great-grandchildren and six great-great-grandchildren.
He married Hannah Kaufman in 1980. Hannah passed away Nov. 16, 2007.
He was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He enjoyed sports, including baseball, softball, basketball, bowling, skiing and boxing. Some of his happiest times in later years were watching his grandchildren and great-grandchildren play sports.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his first wife, Donna; his second wife, Hannah; a son, James Leroy Phillips; sister, Lucille Harmon; granddaughter, Laura Nelson; grandson, Jesse Phillips; and son-in-law, Douglas White.
The family would like to express their appreciation to the staff at Monticello Assisted Living for their love and care during Eugene's time there.
Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 30, at Wood Funeral Home East Side, 963 S. Ammon Road. The family will visit with friends from 10 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. Tuesday at the funeral home. Burial will be in Ucon Cemetery. Military rites will be performed by the Bonneville County Veterans Memorial Team and Idaho Honor Guard.
Condolences may be sent to the family online at www.woodfuneralhome.com.