Elwyn R. “Phil” Phillips, 94, passed away peacefully Sunday morning, April 23. Phil was born June 20, 1922 in Merna, NE to the Rev. Irven M. and Ferne Rogers Phillips. He graduated in 1943 from York College in York, NE with a degree in music. Immediately drafted into the Army, he completed basic training, married his college sweetheart, Margaret Trout, was assigned to the 465th Engineer battalion, and went to England to prepare for D-Day.
He went ashore in Normandy on day 18 of the invasion, marched through the Battle of the Bulge, and worked in the Berlin occupation. Upon his honorable discharge in 1945, he returned to the University of Nebraska where he earned a Masters of Social Work degree. He spent the rest of his career with the VA, helping fellow veterans. Phil served as Chief of Social Service at the Fort Meade (SD) VA hospital and later in the same position at Mountain Home VA hospital in Johnson City, TN.
Upon retirement, Phil and Margaret moved to Boynton Beach, FL where they lived 28 years before moving to assisted living in Gibson City, IL. Phil later moved to a skilled nursing facility in Powell, TN.
Phil was preceded in death by his parents and his wife of 72 years, Margaret. He is survived by two sons, Leon (Rebecca) Phillips, Farmer City, IL and Larry (Patti) Phillips, Tellico Village, TN; grandchildren, Rev. Bryan (Kristal) Phillips and Mark (Amy) Phillips of Farmer City, IL; Rev. Paul (Tiffani) Phillips, Gibson City, IL; Kristi (Sam Mall) Hale, Mahomet, IL; Josie (Ryan Curcio) Phillips, St. Petersburg, FL; and Jamie (Bridgett Allison) Phillips, Nashville, TN; and 13 great-grandchildren.
A Graveside Service will be 1:00 P.M., Friday, April 28, 2017 at Danville National Cemetery, Danville, IL with Elwyn’s grandson, Rev. Bryan Phillips officiating. Military Rites will be accorded. There will be no visitation. Calvert-Belangee-Bruce Funeral Home, Farmer City, IL in charge of arrangements.