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Eldon Phillips "Phil" Harvey


1924 - 2007 Obituary Condolences
Eldon Phillips "Phil" Harvey, 82, of Charlottesville, Va., and Upper St. Regis, N.Y., died Monday Oct. 8, 2007, in Upper St. Regis after a lengthy illness. He was born Oct. 29, 1924, in El Paso, Texas, to Charles Milton Harvey and Maude Phillips Harvey, and lived there until the past few years.
Phil, as he was known to family and friends, graduated from Austin High School in El Paso, and attended the University of Texas at Austin until joining the U. S. Army Air Corps in 1943 during World War II. He was commissioned a second lieutenant, and after a brief time as a flight instructor in AT-6 aircraft was sent to the South Pacific theater of the war to fly P-51 Mustangs. He was stationed at several bases, including Tinian, Guam Saipan and Iwo Jima, where he served as squadron commander of the 549th Night Fighter Squadron.
In October 1946, Phil returned to El Paso to complete his education, earning a degree in Economics from Texas Western College, now UTEP.
He met Patricia F. Grambling and they were married at St. Clements' Church on April 24, 1948, a marriage that would last over 59 years, raising three sons. Phil wanted to pursue a career in ranching and agriculture, as the family had ranches at Carrizozo, Claunch and Corona, where they raised commercial Hereford cattle; ranches at Alamogordo and Cloudcroft, where the registered Hereford herd was operated; and Harvey Farms at Hill, north of Las Cruces, growing cotton, alfalfa, vegetables and other crops.
In order to efficiently manage the ranches, he bought an AT-6 airplane to fly quickly from El Paso to the ranch at Carrizozo, as well as other places for meetings and an occasional bull sale. The ranching business led to Phil's strong involvement in several livestock associations, including the American National Cattlemen's Association, now the NCA, where he served as a committee chairman for many years, and the New Mexico Cattle Grower's Association, where he served as secretary-treasurer for more than 25 years from the late 1950s until the 1970s, and as president from 1978-80. He was also a member of the American Hereford Association, New Mexico Hereford Association and was appointed to the Federal Land Law Review Commission by the Secretary of the Interior. It was during this time that Phil was also chairman of the White Sands Ranchers Committee, spending untold hours writing, testifying and traveling to Washington, D.C., going to Congress and the Pentagon to get just compensation for the families that had their ranches taken by the federal government to establish White Sands Missile Range.
Phil was one of the foremost public lands experts in the entire nation, and was a strong advocate for free enterprise and private property rights.
Phil Harvey was a dedicated Christian and family man who was extremely unselfish, not only to his family, but to others as well. He served on the Salvation Army board of directors, the Southwest Children's Home board of directors, and was active at Trinity Methodist Church. In addition, Phil was a member of El Paso Masonic Lodge 130, and was a 32nd degree Scottish Rite Mason.
Banking was also in the family, as Phil's father, Charles M. Harvey, was the founder and chairman of the board of the El Paso National Bank. Upon his father's death, Phil was named to the board of directors of the bank and actively served there for more than 40 years. He spent countless hours with Patricia, his devoted wife, and their three boys, Phillip Jr., Allen, and Patrick, riding at the ranches, hunting, working cattle, taking wonderful vacations to all parts of the country, seeing almost every state, and teaching his sons as much as he could from his vast knowledge about almost anything one can think of. In recent years he has been equally dedicated to his five grandchildren and loved them all dearly.
He is survived by his wife Patricia Grambling Harvey; his sons Eldon P. "Phil" Harvey Jr. and his wife Carlitta, of Mesilla, Allen G. Harvey and his wife Julie, of Midland, Texas; and Patrick L. Harvey and his wife Lisa, of Scottsdale, Ariz.; and five grandchildren, Elizabeth Harvey Abrams and her husband Matt, of Arlington, Va.; E. Phil Harvey III and his wife Charity, of Las Cruces, Margaret M. Harvey, of Mesilla, Jessica H. Harvey, of San Francisco, Allen G. Harvey Jr., of New York, and two step-grandchildren, Andrew Carlson and Jeffrey Carlson, both of Scottsdale, Ariz.
The funeral service will be held Friday Oct. 12, 2007, at 1:30 p.m. at St. Clements' Church, 810 N. Campbell St., El Paso, Texas, with burial immediately following at Evergreen Cemetery, 4301 Alameda, El Paso, Texas. Pallbearers are Phil Harvey Jr., Phil Harvey III, Allen Harvey, Allen Harvey Jr., Patrick Harvey and Will Harvey. Honorary pallbearers are John Grambling, Paul Harvey Jr., Bill Littlefield, Warren Burns, Dick Dobbs, Tom Mason and Dean Rhoads.
In lieu of flowers, it is requested that contributions be made to the American Lung Association.
Published in Alamogordo Daily News from Oct. 11 to Oct. 25, 2007
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