1927 ~ 2012|
Phil quietly closed his book Wednesday, August 8, 2012. He was born October 30, 1927 in Ogden. A 1945 Ogden High School graduate, he earned his Airborne jump wings and served in the US Army's 11th Airborne Division in Japan.
He attended St. Mary's College in San Francisco but returned to Salt Lake City to finish his undergraduate work and affiliate with Sigma Chi Fraternity. He also graduated from the University Of Utah School Of Law and was reportedly the only honors graduate who also managed to sleep-in every morning.
Phil carried on a four-year spirited, romantic correspondence with Faye Jane Knudson while she worked and played in Europe. Upon her return, they married and raised five independent-minded children. Twenty years later they took separate paths.
He took pride in his children's successes. He celebrated his sons' adventures and career paths. And he taught his daughter to throw a football properly.
Phil had a brilliant command of the English language, literature and military history. He willingly shared this knowledge with all interested parties. He also stayed true to his Irish roots with his wit and gift of gab. And he regularly sported his trademark Irish tweed jacket and carried his Irish walking stick. In retirement he studied Irish History at Trinity College in Dublin.
He also never let go of his family's railroad roots. He started out working for Southern Pacific Railroad as a high school messenger boy continuing through the organization to conductor, retiring after 45 years of service. He balanced that schedule with his own law practice, Ogden City Judge and some work as a reserve officer in the Ogden Police Department.
Phil was preceded in death by all five older siblings. He was also unexpectedly preceded in death by his eldest son, P. Stephen. He is survived by three sons, Timothy (Tracy); Great Falls, Virginia; Patrick, Salt Lake City; and Michael (Theresa), Ogden and one daughter Caitlin (Greg) Gochnour, Ogden. He also is survived by 11 grandchildren; Nick, Gus, Gretchen, Sean, Ryan, Connor, Stephen, Collin, Hunter, Keira and Aidan.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests you take the time to read and savor a favorite book.
Services are Saturday, August 11, St. Florence Catholic Church, 6461 E. Hwy 39, Huntsville, Utah. Visitation at 9 a.m. Funeral Mass at 10 a.m., burial in the Ogden City Cemetery. An Irish wake will follow at MacCool's Public House, 2510 Washington Blvd., Ogden.
Condolences may be sent to the family at aaronsmortuary.com
Published in Salt Lake Tribune from Aug. 10 to Aug. 11, 2012