After a long and wonderful life, PHILIP J. KUHL joined the Lord in Heaven on Monday, the 8th of February 2010. He was a devoted husband and loving father, who touched all with wit and charm. He contributed much, and took little.Born in Astoria, Illinois, on the 27th of September 1914, Phil grew up in the central Illinois community of Galesburg. The Kuhl family had a long legacy in the area, and was instrumental in the German emigrant development of the nearby town of Beardstown in the mid-1800s. Prior to college, he worked in his father's well-known retail specialty store, which notably was one of the first American sellers of silk hosiery.Phil attended Knox College, graduating with a degree in mathematics in 1936, where he was also a competitive swimmer for the college. He was a member of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity, ROTC, and Scabbard & Blade.After graduating, and with World War II looming, Phil joined the Army Air Corps. He received his wings from the Air Corps Advanced Flying School's Attack Division at Kelly and Randolph AFBs in San Antonio. This led to active duty in the Pacific Theater of Operations, where he commanded B-17 and B-24 bombers throughout the South Pacific. In the battle of Coral Sea, he was forced to crash-land his B-24 Liberator, the "CrosAir," in the sea, and was credited with heroic efforts that saved the lives of most of his crew. For this and other service, he was awarded the Silver Star, Legion of Merit, Purple Heart, and Commendation Medal.After the war, he progressed steadily through the Air Force ranks, remaining a command pilot and mastering jet flight. He gradated from the USAF Institute of Technology and the Armed Forces Staff College. He ultimately achieved the rank of full-Colonel, directing procurement, production, and logistics for the USAF Air Material Command. He served at the Pentagon, Wright-Patterson AFB, and numerous strategic air bases throughout the world.In 1949, while stationed in New England, he met his lifelong love, Barbara A. Dunn, who hailed from a well-known Boston family. In 1950, the couple wed in Boston.Col. Kuhl retired from the USAF in 1969, moving his family to Fort Worth, where he became employed in the aerospace industry. Later, he and wife Barbara became involved in the Fort Worth real estate industry. They made many lifelong friends during their years in Fort Worth.After finally retiring, the couple traveled frequently between Fort Worth and Houston, visiting their son, John, an attorney, and daughter, Pam, who has reinstated the old family business with a retail specialty store of her own.Col. Kuhl is predeceased by his parents, the late Mr. Charles A. Kuhl and Mrs. Mildred Bell Kuhl; and by his sister, the late Ms. Laura Louise Kuhl. He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Barbara D. Kuhl; son, Mr. Philip John Kuhl, Jr.; and daughter, Mrs. Pamela Kuhl-Linscomb and her husband, Mr. Daniel J. Linscomb.A memorial service is to be conducted at ten o'clock in the morning on Tuesday, the 23rd of February, at St. Michael Catholic Church, 1801 Sage Road in Houston, where the Rev. Msgr. Frank H. Rossi is to officiate.Immediately following the service, all are invited to greet the family during a reception in the adjacent Parish Life Center.At a later date, an inurnment and graveside ceremony is to be conducted at Arlington National Cemetery, where full military honors are to be rendered by the U.S. Air Force Honor Guard.In lieu of customary remembrances, contributions in memory of Col. Kuhl may be directed to the University of Texas Health Science Center's M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, P. O. Box 4486, Houston, TX, 77210-4486; or to a charity of one's choice. -->
Published in Houston Chronicle from Feb. 21 to Feb. 22, 2010.