Ralph Byron 'Phil' Phillips passed on June 5th 2019 aged 94. Born April 7, 1925 in Centertown, MO to Ralph Bevier Phillips and Eva nee Smith. Phil endured the hardships of the Great Depression and served in the submarine forces through WWII on the USS Bluegill and USS Blackfin. He met his soon to be wife Beatrice Laverne Rush (Rusty) while calling square dances. They continued dancing after their wedding on April 10,1948 resulting in three sons, Michael David b.1949 (Annie) of Branson, Patrick Donald b.1952 (Elena) of Walla Walla WA and Timothy Gene b.1956 (Frances) of Loveland CO.
Phil entered the elevator trade thanks to his lifelong best friend Michael Zellers' encouragement. First with Anderson Priest and then Montgomery Elevators for the remainder of his career. In addition, he was a licensed real estate broker as well as buying, renovating and selling many houses long before flipping became the rage. He and Rusty helped many families get started in home ownership by providing creative and generous financing. Phil enjoyed camping, fishing (but not the fish so much) mushroom foraging, card playing, square dancing, gardening, feeding birds, golf and telling tales (some of which bore a resemblance to the truth).
He was active in the VFW, Submarine Veterans of WWII and many volunteer organizations. After retirement he and Rusty eventually settled in Branson MO where he did volunteer work with the Chamber of Commerce, food banks and hospitals including clanging the bell for the Salvation Army and handing out Buddy Poppies. He delighted children of all ages with his shy, walking puppet Goofus. He received much recognition for his service in the submarines and volunteerism including Grand Marshall of the Branson Veteran's Day parade in 2011.
Predeceased by two brothers and four sisters he is survived by sisters Grace Beardsley and Inez Larsen many nieces and nephews, grandchildren David Michael and Eric Brian, his three sons and their spouses and his adored wife Rusty.
Services will be on Tuesday, June 11, 2019 at Snapp-Bearden Funeral Home & Crematory, Branson. Visitation will begin at 1:00 P.M. with a celebration of Phil’s life at 2:00 P.M. followed by full military honors. Burial will be at a later date in Ozarks Memorial Park Cemetery, Branson.