Philip Emerson Rounds

Battalion Chief Philip Emerson Rounds, 55, passed away Nov. 21, 2008, at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital.

Philip was born in Quincy, Mass., on Aug. 2, 1953. In 1971, he graduated from Mount Miguel High School in Spring Valley, Calif. He attended Grossmont College in La Mesa, Calif., and University of Fairbanks Tanana Valley Campus in Fairbanks, and completed his education with a degree from the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Md.

Phil served in the U.S. Air Force from February 1972 until he was honorably discharged in August 1979. His duty stations were: Vandenberg Air Force Base (1972-1974) and Eielson Air Force Base (July 1974-1979). From 1979 to 1985, he continued work at the Eielson Air Force Base Fire Department as assistant chief. In 1985, he completed his civil service and became captain at the University Fire Department where he built his career fulfilling the position of battalion chief shortly thereafter. He has taught countless young men and women during the span of his career to serve and protect the communities they live in with strong work ethics, pride and humanity. At the time of his death, he had logged 21,483 calls for service during his 36-year career.

When Phil wasn't serving the community, he enjoyed boating, fishing, hunting and woodturning. However, without a doubt, as anyone could see by his proudly named "PER-fect Dirt" truck company, that driving his bobcat and dump truck were by far his favorite things to do.

His devotion to his wife, family, fire family, UAF, Alaska and his country that he served was his greatest pride. He was a husband, father, brother, friend and mentor to everyone he came in contact with throughout the years. He was always a good neighbor and would do anything for anyone and was always proud of the accomplishments of his students as they went on to start a new chapter in their lives.

Phil is survived by his wife and best friend of more than 39 years, Bess; daughters and son-in-laws, Julie and Kevin Ritchie of North Pole and Vickie and Larry Shores of Fairbanks; grandchildren, Tiffany Hay, Sean Ritchie, Kacey Ritchie, Jenee Shores and Dana Shores; great-grandchildren, Sydney and Logan Hay; sister, Melicent Kiser of Lacey, Wash.; brothers and sister-in-laws, Peter and Laurie Rounds of Anchorage and Dana and Susan Rounds of Vacaville, Calif.; brother-in-law and sisters-in-law, Billy Atkinson and Mary Jayne of Spring Creek, Nev., Margaret and Smitty Smith of Caldwell, Idaho and Nancy Atkinson of El Cajon, Calif.; nephews and nieces, Bryce and Jamie of California, Christie and Joel of California, Robbie and Ronnie of Idaho and numerous other nieces and nephews; his four-legged daughters, Nutty and Biscuit Rounds of Fairbanks; and finally, the entire UAF Fire Department members, both present and past.

Phil was preceded in death by his parents, Frank and Thelma Rounds; mother- and father-in-law, Robert and Margaret Atkinson; and brother-in-law, Ronald Kiser.

We would like to send our deepest thanks to the five wonderful men, Dr. Ken Starks, Dr. Bruce Footit, ICU nurses Paul and Allen, Paul Miranda (UAFD student) and the rest of the ICU staff who worked so hard to help Phil transition from this life to the next. To the UAFD family, there are no words -- you made it possible through your love and support for us to witness how much he was truly loved by you all for this, his final call of service.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made on behalf of the family to the "Battalion Chief Philip E. Rounds (aka Battalion Chief Wonderful) Fire Science Scholarship" at any Denali State Bank.

Services will be held at 1:30 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 29, at Davis Concert Hall on the UAF campus. It will start with a procession of fire apparatus from across the state on University Avenue to the campus prior to the service. There will be a free shuttle service to and from Taku and Nenana.

Arrangements were by Fairbanks Funeral Home and Crematory.

Published by Daily News-Miner on Nov. 26, 2008.
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113 Entries
Well Toots, almost 8 years has gone by and it seems like yesterday we said our goodbyes. I visit this site to bring me closer to you. I am always in tears when I read of the impact you had on so many lives and kind words that these pages have left me with. The times were many when I would stand back and love to listen to the many many people who would recognize you and want to chat in stores, gas stations or restaurants. I was always humored by the fact if it was an emergency or other type of meeting, that you immediately recalled who they were, where they lived, how many kids, names, dogs, etc., whether it had been a fire, ambulance call, student or acquaintance!! But before you would give a goodbye hand shake, I would say to myself, thank you God for letting me be chosen to spend my life from the age of 16 to your passing with this wonderful man. To grow up together, raise a beautiful family, learn life's lessons along side of this whitty, fun loving, full of energy, life and personality was a real gift to me. I miss you every day and will til the day I die. See you Toots
May 24, 2016
Happy birthday my sweet husband, best friend and hero. I miss you more than words can say. Not a day goes by that I don't turn to see if you're with me. I know you are without the pain and treatments no one should have to go through. I'll see you on the other side my dear toots.
August 3, 2015
i miss you....
Jenee Joshua
October 21, 2013
I just found out about your loss. Phil was like a father to me having lost my own father at the age of 6. You both taught me so much about love and life. It was truly an honor and privilege to interact with you both. I had the utmost respect for Phil who was a giant among men. I worked for him for 6 years at Eielson and even did time in your basement ceramic "dungeon"! I last saw Phil in July of 2000 and he still had that perpetual smile and jovial way about him. I am in my 34th year in fire protection and it is because of him that I have had success. My heart aches at your loss. Phil will be missed but always remembered.
Garry Pascoe
February 22, 2011
To my dearest family, some things I'd like to say...but first of all to let you know that I arrived okay. I'm writing this from heaven, here I dwell with God above, there's no more tears of sadness,there is just eternal love. Please do not be unhappy just because I'm out of sight, remember that I'm with you every morning noon and night. That night I had to leave you when my life on earth was through, God picked me up and hugged me and said "I welcome you". He said as for your dearest family, they'll be here later on, I need you here, you're part of my plan, there's so much that we have to do to help our mortal man. God gave me a list of things that he wished for me to do and foremost on the list was to watch and care for you. And when you lie in bed at night, the day's chores put to flight, God and I are closest to you in the middle of the night. When you think of my life on earth and all those living years because you are only human, they are bound to bring you tears. But do not be afraid to cry, it does relieve the pain, remember there would be no flowers unless there was some rain. One thing is for certain though my life on earth is o'er, I'm closer to you now than I ever was before. It was always my philosophy and I'd like it for you too, that as you give unto the world, the world will give to you. If you can help somebody who's in sorrow and in pain, then you can say to God at night "my day was not in vain". So if you meet someone who is sad and feeling low, just lend a hand to pick him up as on your way you go. When you're walking down the street and you've got me on your mind, I'm walking in your footsteps only half a step behind. And now I am content that my life has been worth while knowing as I passed along the way, I made somebody smile. So when it's time for you to go from your body to be free, remember you're not're coming here to me.

Ruth Ann Mahaffey (author)
November 23, 2010
I was sitting with my little girl, Madeleine, trying to convince her of Santa Claus as being a "real"...when I remembered having known Phil and Bess at a time in which they graciously invited me to their home and who actually live in North Pole, AK.

I can't believe what I am reading...

Bess, I am so deeply sorry for your loss. My sincerest sympathy to you and to your loving family. My wife and I send our heartfelt prayers of hope, faith, and love, for you, Bess, so that you may be comforted and sustained through these days.

I have read every memory expressed here in this book. Every one of them is a gem representing the mosaic of qualities found in the man I knew back in 1982 when I was a firefighter in the USAF. Phil's courage and kindness showed by example an extraordinary sense of focus on not just the questions of fire suppression (scientific), but also on the profound and complicated and dangerous business of keeping men and women in safety--- while d o i n g fire suppression.

Phil Rounds as a very young man possessed a variety of gifts to do with sensitivity, and openness, and warmth, and generosity, and a fierce intelligence of which we all have benefited. It's like someone said, "He truly was an inspiration for all of us..." I would add also that Phil was a wise young man beyond his age as he was always supportive, especially when he would smile in that way which exudes encouragement.

God Bless you, Phil, I will miss you.

James and Sandra Delocienda
James Delocienda
December 24, 2009
I can't believe it's already been a year grandpa. I feels like it was just yesterday that you were still here. It hurts so much. I love you and miss you

November 29, 2009
It has been a year but the hurt is so bad. I miss you and love you with all my heart.
November 28, 2009
Rest in Peace and God bless your family

Capt Reed Chittenden
Eppley Airfield Fire Dept.
Eielson 81-83
August 4, 2009
RIP Chief.

Reed Chittenden
Eppley Airfield Fire Rescue Omaha NE.

Eielson AFB
August 4, 2009
i need you more than ever right now, i miss you so much. i just wish that you were here so i could get some advice. i miss everything about you. you were my hero without a doubt. just know that your always in my heart and you will never leave it.

i love you and miss you
kacey ritchie
April 16, 2009
Bess, Julie and Vickie. I was saddened to read today of the passing of my friend "PR". I was stationed with Phil from 1978--1981. Phil and I shared many a good time in the fire station and then with you three off duty. My heart felt condolences for you all.

Bob Hendrix
[email protected]
Bob Hendrix
April 13, 2009
Dear Bess and family,

There has been a great deal mentioned on these pages of what a great mentor Phil was. This is so true and from my own experience he made me who I am today. I owe my life to Phil. Not from a fire, but from myself. I was a very young Airman when I arrived at Eielson in the spring of 1984. I made more than my share of mistakes. When these mistakes almost cost me my career, Phil stepped in. He put his reputation on the line for me and made me the man I am today. Bess, you had a hand in this too. I am forever grateful to you both. Phil said to me that I obviously had way too much time on my hands and he put me to work every day off in the basement of your home pouring ceramics. He spent much of this time with me. The counseling, advice and friendship he showed me turned my life around. I could never repay his generosity. The number of people he touched over the years reaches the globe over and over. He was one in a million and I will miss him and forever have fond memories. I am on my 26th year in the field of EMS and it continues today because of Phil.
Jeff Craig
March 16, 2009
I net Phil at Eilson, while I was teaching advanced crash truck operations in 1984. Phil made sure I was taken care of and I noticed all the personnel respected him. Sorry to see a brother go.

John A Cranmer
John Cranmer
February 1, 2009
I miss you grandpa. i will always have you in my heart wherever i go, or whoever im with. i love you and i miss you so much.

Kacey Ritchie
January 26, 2009
I was lucky enough to work for Phill in 1980 at Eielson AFB. I am very sorry for the loss.
Donald Taylor
January 14, 2009
Phil was a great mentor! He will be missed deeply. I am so glad I was able to visit with him in 2005 with my 12-year old daughter. He found time to sit with me, my daughter, and Roy Browning to reminisce and laugh about the past. It was such a great visit, one that I will cherish forever.
Tara Gallien (Ellanna)
January 9, 2009
We will never forget our times together in Alaska and all the support both Phil and Bess lent to us over the years. Phil was an inspiration to all in the way he lived his life and I will never forget the friend we had in him and Bess both.
Ed & Vicky Dziubinski
January 2, 2009
As an 18 year old new Air Force firefighter I met Phil at Eielson in December of 1980. I was assinged to his shift. He provided me with numerous opportunities and seemed to recognize that I was meant to drive and opperate fire apparatus. I will never forget when he took me out on a road test in the pumper. The 18 months spent working for him set me on course for a fire service future with the last 23 years at Tucson Fire coming up on 20 as an Engineer. I imagine this type of story could be repeated over and over. Thank you Phil and may God bless your family and memory.
Doug Shultz
December 19, 2008
Julie and family,

Our thoughts and prayers are with you. We hope you find comfort and peace in your minds and hearts.

Brandon & Lynn Grover
Lynn Grover
December 18, 2008
Bess, Julie, and Vickie,

My family is saddened as you know. Stories are numerous to include some during his services that I had with Mike and I will share them with you when the time is right.

You already know, but if you need anything let us know. I was so fortunate to have worked and play with Phil over the years.

Always in our thoughts and prayers
Tim Biggane
December 16, 2008
Dear Bess, Julie, and Vickie, My heart is saddened to learn of this great loss. It is hard to say good-bye to such a strong, loving, caring, compassionate person; but, knowing he is no longer sick and in pain hopefully helps in a small sort of way. It has been many years since we last saw each other. Since the day we left Alaska I have always dreamed of returning; and you guys have remained as my first family to reconnect with. The Rounds family has and always will have a special place in my heart. As I sit hear and reminisce; memories come rushing forward as if it were yesterday of all the special times and wonderful years we spent together. I still remember eating those super-licious blueberry pancakes while watching Saturday morning cartoons; I have never had any as good those were. Easter egg hunting in the snow. And of course who could forget those chickens?!? Phil was a wonderful man and a great pseudo-dad; he will be greatly missed. I am keeping you all in my prayers for comfort and peace until you are reunited with him in the new world. All my love and God Bless you all.
Amber (Williams)Looper
December 10, 2008
To Bess and your family, to Pete, Dana and your families our prayers go out to you for Phil's last call here. Memories remain. Stay in contact-Penny, Leah, Meghan, and Larry. Our Firefighter Brotherhood is strong in prayers.
Larry Hernandez
December 9, 2008
Bess and Family,

As a young Air Force Firefighter in 1981 I had the priveledge and honor to be mentored by Phil Rounds. Even many years after leaving Alaska I often received a card or letter from Phil and Bess keeping us updated on his progress on fighting cancer and often heard about his many new projects. Having recently lost my Mother to cancer I offer my condolences and prayers during this difficult time. Phils 10 year battle with cancer reflects the strong person who would never give up!Please know that Phil touched many lives in a positive way. His service and dedication to the fire service was couragous and inspiring.

Shawn and Dorothy Murray
Shawn Murray
December 8, 2008
December 7, 2008
December 7, 2008
steve moody
December 7, 2008
I would like to share these with you all
Bess Rounds
December 5, 2008
December 4, 2008
Bess, I am so sorry to hear of Phil's passing but know that he is at peace in a healthy new body! We love you and are always here when you need someone to talk to. God bless you and all your family.
Patti Huff
December 2, 2008
Oh Bess, I am so saddened to hear of Phil's death. It has been many, many years since we've seen one another, but I have many wonderful memories of you and Phil from our old Rainbow days. I am keeping you and the rest of the family in my prayers for comfort and solace until you are with him again on the other side of that River.
Pam (Bushong) Holzman
December 2, 2008
Phil, you were my best friend in all the years we went to school together and Im sorry I didnt make the trip to see you and Bess.I have those found memories of listening to your dad cuss in the garage, football in the street, riding our bikes all over, working on the cars and the bb gun wars from our tumbleweed were a great friend, a wonderful husband to Bess and a loving father to your two girls. I love you man.
Rob Robinson
December 2, 2008
Did not know Phil, only knew him through my daughter and son-in-law, Kim and Pat Mead. But I am truly sorry for his family's loss. Bless you all..
Debby Hyde
December 2, 2008
Anna Walker, DOT Central Region. He was always so engaging when he taught the ARFF classes for state. No matter how many times I set in on his class, I always came away with more knowledge than I walked in with. He will be missed. My thoughts are with his family.
Anna Walker
December 1, 2008
Our hearts are filled with sadnest at the passing of Phil. Even though it has been a while since we have seen ya'll, we have always had you in our thoughts and our hearts. We had some very good times with everyone and it was always like a family for all. Bess , Julie & Vickie know we will always be there for you if not in person always in sprit.

Love, De & David Williams
[email protected]
De & David Williams
December 1, 2008
I never had the honor of meeting Chief Rounds, but I did serve with many in the fire service who spoke very highly of him. My condolences go out to his family, friends, and the fire service that will never be quite the same.
Jessica Stong
December 1, 2008
I will never think of Chief Rounds without a smile on my face, he was a mentor, a friend and a brother. I would have gone to hell and back for him - simply if he asked. He was always kind, always fair and always quick with a laugh. He shaped so many men and women, me included, into some of the best Firefighters, Fire Officers and Chiefs in the world. A special thank you to his family – thank you for sharing him with us. Phil, we'll see you on the other side.
Sarah (Hilton) Puerner
December 1, 2008
We met Phil and Bess two Thanksgivings ago when my wife's son, Capt. Forrest Kuiper, invited us to dinner at the station. We are so glad to have met them and to see first hand the influence they both had/have on all those fire fighters. Every one who answers an alarm from now on carries Phil's legacy with them. God's peace and blessings surround you all.
Jim and Linda Drury
December 1, 2008
Even though it has been many years since we left Alaska I have many fond memories of you and Phil. My thought and Prayers are with you all. Phil will be missed.
Tracey Williams
December 1, 2008
I will never forget the life lessons AC Rounds bestowed upon us. Every day was full fun and challenges. "If it isn't, why are you here." - Phil Rounds.... Phil thanks for your guidance, you and your family will never be out of our thoughts.
Bruce Hobbs
December 1, 2008
The only time I believe I met Phil was when I went to his office to trade fire dept. patches. We traded & talked awhile, but he also had visitors from Moscow, ID., so I made it brief. He was happy to trade with me. Please accept my condolenses Ivan R. Vail former Asst. Chief of Chena-Goldstream VFD
Ivan R. Vail
December 1, 2008
My condolences.

Randy Wells
Randy Wells
December 1, 2008
Chief and Bess,

You shall always leave me with a smile. That was your quality, big guy. You could always project that eternal affable attitude. We are in so much debt and gratitude for everything Chief. Please make sure the specs in heaven are better than NFPA for anything; and Bess, thank you for having such a loving husband and friend/father/mentor/Chief to all of us.
Kris Chandler
December 1, 2008
Bess & family. I am so sorry to hear of Phil's passing. Please know I'm thinking of you.
Kim Jennings
November 30, 2008
Phil you will always be remembered for the friend/mentor you were. We will miss you on the fire ground and in classes but we know you are always there with us, to every call we go to..
Bess, if you need anything I'm another of your extended family you can call on...
Tony (goofy roofy) Roof
November 30, 2008
I am forever grateful to have had the privilege of having Phil in my life. He was a fine example of a man, a husband, a father, and a fire service professional. He has mentored and guided me and will continue to be the standard that I aspire to. I will miss seeing my friend and brother, but I am thankful to have had the time with him that I did.
Tod Chambers
November 30, 2008
My wife and I were just there in Aug. & Sept. We visited the University Fire Dept. and the Fairbanks Fire Dept. All were very nice to us, answered our silly fire questions and took us around their stations..They are all a fine outstanding group of people and we enjoyed their hospitality. Someone who's name I do not remember mentioned Chief Rounds. We are so sorry to hear of his passing. Some people are just hard to replace.
Alan Fariss
November 30, 2008
To the Rounds Family,

Phil was a great inspiration and mentor to me during my time at Eielson and North Pole. Chief, you were a true leader of the Fire Service and you will be so saddly missed by all. I can remember all the words of wisdom and fellowship that you used to share while Bonnie and Bess would be spending time in the ceramics shop. Rest in peace my brother. Your time on earth will not be forgotten.
Michael and Bonnie Bidlack
November 30, 2008
Chief Rounds was an amazing man and was always one of my favorite people to interview while I was a reporter in Fairbanks.
Lauren Reeves
November 30, 2008
God's Speed My friend...Thank you for the journey.
Dave Shechter
November 30, 2008
Thank you Chief for giving me the opportunity to work with you for the two years that i was at University Fire Department. No matter what was going on you always allowed me to be positive and happy. You inspired me to be like you and you taught me truely what the fire service is about. I will miss you and you will always be in my thoughts.
Samart "Taj" Turner
November 30, 2008
Chief, I would like to thank you for all that you've done for me. Always pushing me to be better than what I was and am today.
Charles Fezatte
November 30, 2008
To Bess and family: May all your memories be happy ones. I spent 12 years working with Phil through the Tanana Valley Fair. I was always thankful to see his smiling face and calm demeanor come and help us with the various emergencies that happen when we gathered at the Fair. Bless you all.
Kim Gyuricsko
November 30, 2008
Im one of the batallions daughters and,I've known Phill sense i was 5.
He awlays knew how to make me fit in with the guys at the station whenever i was up there. I looked up to him,he made me laugh constantley.
He will be missed with every inch of our hearts.

Love you Phil.
Taylor Mead
November 30, 2008
Bess and family -

Your family and the UAFFD family sent Phil home with one of the most touching, funny and humbling celebrations of life I have even been to. Phil always had a smile on his face, even on the phone trying to get something for nothing, you could hear the smile in his voice. He was truly a gentle giant and I always looked forward to a phone call or visit at work from him. He made a room light up with just his presence. God Bless your family and thank you for sharing him with us.
Marianne Freelong
November 30, 2008
Bess and family -
Your family and the UAF family sent Phil home with one of the nicest goodbyes I have ever seen. I never saw Phil without a smile on his face, even talking on the phone you knew he had a big smile. I am sure he was watching over all of us yesterday with the biggest smile he has ever had. God Bless all of you and thank you for sharing him with so many people for so many years.
Marianne Freelong
November 30, 2008
My thoughts and prayers are with you in your time of grief. May your memories bring you comfort.
Peter Howe
November 30, 2008
Words can not express how my heart is breaking for this remarkable family!!!! Phil was one in a million, and no one will ever fill his shoes! As I watched the funeral via the webcast (i live 3000+miles away), i found myself agreeing to everything people said about Phil. I to will miss the Phil (bear)hugs, the gentle hand on your shoulder, and the words of wisdom.

Phil was my cousin and my hero, who I had met for the first time in 1983. You see our families lived on seperate coasts. Our grandmother always raved about Phil, Mel, Peter, Dana and Bess. I could not wait to met them all. I finally did in 1983 when I traveled to Alaska, that is when I got my first Phil (bear)hug. I will never forget that trip!!!! Since them my wonderful west coast family has been back east on a number of occasions and our families have been closer then ever.

My heart is in Alaska right now with Bess and the family! We have truly lost a great person! But remember Phil lives on in all of us! and in the many, many, many lives he has touched. I for one am a better person for having known him!

Love to you all!

East Coast Cousin - Donna
Donna Vieweg
November 30, 2008
I did not know you Phil, but I feel that anyone who can live and battle cancer - as long as you did - is a real hero! On top of that you dedicated your life to serve the safety of others! You set an example for people like myself - to make the rest of life as rich and rewarding as possible - by giving everything you can on behalf of others!

Kimberly Myers - Cancer Survivor 2008, Fairbanks Alaska
Kimberly Myers
November 30, 2008
November 30, 2008
As I sit here trying to think of what to say about Phil Rounds the realization hits that this man touched my life in a myriad of ways. In brief, Phil was Compassionate, Dedicated, Intelligent, Brave, an Inspiration and above all else Happy. A man with an infectious smile that embraced who he was and the role he played in the world. A supreme educator not only academically but also on life. Thank You Phil for your generosity with life's lessons and Thank You Bess and the rest of the family for sharing him with all of us.
Trey Spotz
November 30, 2008
Bess and Family,

While attending the celebration of life for Chief Rounds today, I got to wondering if, now that he's in Heaven, will Phil have to change some of the jokes and stories he loved so much? I decided he probably would not - but instead would probably docter them up a bit and forge on ahead with that big smile, and tell 'em all. Phil was one heck of a guy, who will be long remembered for all he has done for the fire service, wherever he went. You can all be very proud of his accomplishments. Thanks for sharing him with us.
Steve Adams
November 30, 2008
Chief Rounds, you are going to be missed by all. While I never served under you as a firefighter, you were an inspiration to me to never give up at what you believe in. God be with you.
Max Kopplin
November 29, 2008
Phil was a great inspiration in my life and in the lives of so many fire service members. He will be deeply missed by so many people. I will always remember Chief's sense of humor. We are all better people for having known him.
Taige Malone
November 29, 2008
God be with you and your family at this time. We will keep you in our thoughts and Prayers. God Bless to all.
Charles and Karen Jenkins
November 29, 2008
Our Deepest Sympathy, Love and Prayers are with you all.
Dale and Teresa Miller
November 29, 2008

My sympathy on the loss of your husband, Phil. My thoughts are with you and your family during this difficult time.
Bob Miller
November 29, 2008
Words cannot express the gratitude I have for Phil and his family. It was an honor to serve with him. I will always cherish the memories from fires to fishing and superbowl parties inbetween. Thank you Phil for being a great leader, coach and mentor. Thank you Bess, Julie and family for sharing him every third day. For that we are all better people. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
John George
November 29, 2008
I had the great pleasure of meeting Phil March of 1998 while I was working as a student dispatcher for the University Fire Department. I then had the honor to have him as my Battalion Chief when I worked as a firefighter from 1999-2001. We are all better people for having known him. He has left a part of him with all of us. Many prayers to the family that has been left behind. We will all see you again someday.
Jennifer Duff Baxter
November 28, 2008
To Bess and the rounds family, words cannot express the saddness and sorrow in my heart today. I have known and had the extreme pleasure in working with Chief Rounds since the early 1991 I have nothing but the utmost respect for him. He was an icon in this town by many including me. He will be missed dearly. Gods speed phil.
Dan Morrow
November 28, 2008
My memories of Phil Rounds, center on the classes he taught and mutual aid calls we ran, while I was with Steese Fire Department. Phil's teaching always left you wanting to learn more, do a better job, and always put life safety first. On mutual aid calls, he was always happy to see you, especially if you brought large quantities of water. Phil taught generations of us to "Go ugly early" (along with Bud) and take care of your brothers and sisters. Now it's our turn, to take care of you and your family. My deepest sympathies to the Round's and UFD families. Thank you Phil for being apart of our lives and careers. God bless.
Jack Fletcher - Firefighter/Paramedic
November 28, 2008
Bess, and family, You are in our thoughts and prayers. We always felt we knew Phil and his family because Gramma kept us informed. She was so very fond of all of you. With sympathy, Jim and Shirley (Rounds) Thibault and family
shirley thibault
November 28, 2008
My deepest sympathies go out to Bess and the rest of Phil's family. Phil was a great man and I feel privlidged to have known him. I am one of those people that worked with him at the University Fire Department (96-99). Looking back on those years these last few days, all I can remember are lessons that I learned from him and how my life is better by taking those lessons to heart. Even in the most difficult of times, you could always count on Phil to see the brighter side. I just wish that I had a little of that right now so I could see a brighter side of this sad time. Phil was a brother to many of us and he will be missed. We'll always love you Phil. Rest in peace.
Richard Oelkers
November 28, 2008
You will always live in our hearts and prayers. When i arrived in Alaska in Oct 1984 as a young airman, I was fortunate to work on "PR"s shift at Eileson. He was one of those guys that I always respected and looked up to. He always was there to provide guidance and friendship. Although he was there just 1 year out of my 6 at Eielson and 1 out of my 25 years in fire service, he will always be remebered as my first Assistant Chief and my first true mentor in the AF and life. God bless PR and all of you.
Darrell Drost
Goodfellow AFB, TX
Darrell Drost
November 28, 2008
Phil is one of a few key people that I credit for getting me started in the fire service. I first met Phil taking a Rescue Practices class at TVCC in the spring of 1988. His character, enthusiasm, and encouragement soon had me, like so many others, taking the dreaded physical agility test in hopes of getting hired at UFD. On luck and a prayer I passed the test and was soon hired. Although I never did get the opportunity to be assigned to A-Shift, I am grateful that I was able to work with Phil on many occasion, and on many calls, pulling shift trades over the 7 years I was at UFD. As so many have already mentioned, he was truly a fun, caring, and all-round great person to work with.

My thoughts and prayers go to Bess and the entire Rounds family, and the extended UFD family. He will truly be missed.
Ken Miller, Las Vegas Fire & Rescue
November 27, 2008
To Battalion Chief Phil Rounds family, including UAFD-Phil was an amazing man. He will be remembered for his character and abiliities for generations to come. The community of Fairbanks has lost a great leader, role model, and friend. Our prayers are with you all.
Cloyie Edwards and family
November 26, 2008
Bess, Julie and family,
Of all the people that have come and gone through my life, Phil was one that made so much of a difference for me. Bess, thank you for sharing him with us every third day at the "U". Julie, thank you for letting him be like a father to me through those toughest of times. Phil, if you're reading this, thank you for the long (and free) counseling sessions in dispatch and yes, my golf game has definitely improved and I hope we're all making you proud. I'm a better person for knowing you and will not forget you.
Gina Wheeler
November 26, 2008
My father retired asstiant chief Tom Hartman served with Philip rounds while he worked at Eielison AFB. I will always remeber him at our xmas gatherings and shift outings at harding lake. When I joined the fire servive I recieved the best training through him and his knowlege I learned while his teaching at UAF. He will be be missed....
Paul Hartman [email protected]
Paul Hartman
November 26, 2008
Our deepest codolences to you Bess and the entire Rounds family. There will be a serious problem in the fire service in the future on how to fill the void that Phil has left. His influence has help guide so many, and the Fire Service is a better and safer place because of him. And those of us that had the pleasure to know him are better because of it.
Thank you for being the best there is at what you do, for being my mentor, for watching our backs on and off duty and mostly thanks for being our friend.
God bless you Chief Rounds, Rest in Peace.
Chuck Frady and Family
November 26, 2008
Bess, our deepest sympathy to you and the family. We just recently learned of Phil's illness and are so sorry for your loss. He was a fighter to the end and will be missed. Our prayers and thoughts are with you and your family.
Don & Pat Albrecht
November 26, 2008
Bess and family:
I was deeply saddened to read of Phil's death. Please know that I keep you and your family in my prayers.
Phil was always a bright spot in my day when he came down to the Admin Services Center Building and stopped by my office. His laughter and stories always brought a smile to my face. He will certainly be missed by many at UAF as well as the countless number of individuals he touched each day. Our lives are richer for knowing Phil.
Alice Baergen
November 26, 2008
I had the privilege to serve with Chief Rounds at the University Fire Department and I will never forget the time I spent with him or everything he taught me. Thank you Chief, may you rest in peace.
Brandon Doherty
November 26, 2008
I went to high school with Phil and lived down the street from him in Spring Valley California...I am so sorry for the loss of a wonderful person who has contributed much to make this world a better place to live in. My condolences to the family and friends...
Mic Fahey
November 26, 2008
To the Family and Friends of Chief Rounds:

It is so sad when God takes our loved ones back home. I'm very sorry for your loss and I wish you peace and comfort in this season of your lives. I lost my mother-in-law two years ago from pancreatic cancer at the age of 55, and it's such a sad thing.

I wanted to share a story about Phil, and how I met him 16 years ago next month.

It was December 23, -30 degrees, and our house was on fire! The University Fire Department was at our home in three minutes flat. I drove home frantically, and as I drove into our cul-de-sac, two firemen were coming out of my front door carrying my closet pole with all my good clothes! It was amazing. They were also throwing Christmas presents out the window and recovering any items they could before the roof collapsed! Phil was there, in charge, and comforting us the best he could. What an awesome man.

The next encounter I had with him was at a Fire Chiefs meeting where I was speaking about Big Brothers Big Sisters to ask Chiefs to invite me to speak to their firemen about being a Big Brother or Big Sister. He was one of the first to invite me to come speak to his crew.

Phil was a great man, and God must've needed him in Heaven for something important.

May God bless all of you.
Teresa Thompson
November 26, 2008
All of us deeply value the time we had working with, and feel privileged to have known, Battalion Chief Phil Rounds. Some of us go back two or more (and even three or more) decades working in the fire service with Phil. He was an extraordinary man and I don’t believe he ever said a negative word about anyone. I certainly never heard one and I’m in the two decades plus group. The fire service is richer for having known Phil, and we are poorer for having lost him at such a young age. He was truly an inspiration for all of us and he fought the good fight. May you Rest In Peace, Brother!
Deputy Chief Jerry Hanson
November 26, 2008
Bess and Family,

We are very sorry for your loss. We are sending are prayers. I never got to meet Phil but I heard all about him from Melicent. I feel like I've know him for years through Melicent's loving words she had for her brother. Again, we are sorry for your loss.
Angela, Art, Cathy, Doug, Sunny, Jay, Sandy, and Robert
November 26, 2008
Bess, it seems like forever ago you and Phil and Mike and I came to Eielson. I will always remember the friendship we forged. My love and prayers to you and the family.
Linda DeVaughn-Morgan
November 26, 2008
Phil's courage and positive attitude was an inspiration to me when I also was diagnosed with cancer in 2004. I am truely saddened and sorry thatI am traveling and out of town and will miss the funeral.

Our thoughts are with Family and friends.

Tom and judy Ferri
Tom & Judy Ferri
November 26, 2008
Dear Bess and family,
I was saddened to hear the news. It’s been about 20 years since I was in UAFD and some of my most vivid memories from that time were of working with Phil. He was kind, helpful and inspired us to do better and work harder. I remember his smile and great laugh most of all.
Jennifer Eubank
November 26, 2008
Bess and Famiy: Our sincere sympathy to all of you. Phil was a kind and compassionate friend to us and we will always cherish the opportunities we had to spend time with him. We hope that your wonderful memories of him will sustain you at this difficult time. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Dotty and Gaylen Brevik
November 26, 2008
I was crushed at the news of Phil's passing. My prayers go out to his family and friends. I haven't seen Phil for over a dozen years now but worked with him regularly back in my many years in Fairbanks. He was the go-to guy for fire fighting information and fire department emergency planning help. He was always kind and respectful to me and included me in many of the UAF FD's activities even though I was from outside of the Department. God blessed us with Phil. He is now in a place where he can watch over us. Thank you for your service and friendship, kind sir.
Bob Spencer
November 26, 2008
So sorry for you loss... our prayers are with you.
Loretta Davidson & Darleen Perkins
November 26, 2008
I knew Phil for 20 of the 25 years I spent in the Fire Service, both volunteer and paid. My respect for him was immense. He truly is a hero and will always be remembered.
Jon Chapman
November 26, 2008
Chief, your leadership has positively influenced so many generations of firefighters not only in the Fairbanks community, but throughout the Lower 48. Thank you for your selfless dedication and mentorship. I am a better responder for having known you.

Our thoughts and prayers to your entire family and friends, as well as everyone at UAFD. Clear skies and tail winds, sir... you will be remembered with dignity and honor.
Jill Swope-Fletcher, Flight Nurse, Guardian Air
November 26, 2008
Rest in peace Chief. There were a lof good times working with you.
Michael Haefner
November 26, 2008
Phil was by far the best supervisor, mentor and friend a firefighter could ever hope for. He is THE example of what a great leader should be. My deepest condolences go out to the Rounds family. To this day on my shift I find myself occasionally reflecting on my experiences at UAFD and what an impact he has on my approach to the fire service and life in general. He will be greatly missed.
Lee Etten
November 25, 2008
Phil had the hugest of hearts, and touched the lives of hundreds! Phil... I'm sure that you'll be looking down at all the newbies as well as old ones, with humble pride.... Thank you Phil, for all that you have done to make us safer, and wiser. We'll miss ya buddy!
Anne Connor
November 25, 2008
Julie, Kevin, Rounds Family- Thoughts and prayers with you.
David & Jennifer Bump
November 25, 2008
As a volunteer firefighter/EMT in the borough for over 15 years, I can say without any hesitation or doubt that Chief Rounds was definitely one of the best. He was always there for anybody and everybody. He was an officer that didn't mind working a hoseline with his crew or doing anything else.

Phil Rounds was a friend I could go to with a situation and get a straight answer from. He wasn't shy about showing you "hands-on" what he was talking about, engraining the action even deeper into your memory. I will NEVER forget Phil Rounds and I am a better firefighter, a better person because of him.

Bess, Julie, Vicki, and the rest of the Rounds family - your loss is shared by many of us who looked up to Phil, considered him a colleague, a friend, a brother, and sudo-father. He will never be forgotten and always remembered with a smile. All our prayers for peace, comfort, and strength in the time.

To the Alaska (and beyond) firefighter family - stay strong, be safe.

With much love and complete respect -
Rest easy Chief Phil Rounds, we've got it from here. We miss you.
Alan Mitchell
November 25, 2008
I am sad to hear of the passing of Philip Round. I have known Philip for over 25 years and he is one of the good guys and will be hard to replace. He was always helping others. Our prayers go out to his family.

Ray & Linda Undereiner
Ray Undereiner
November 25, 2008
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