June 23, 1927 ~ November 13, 2013
Retired Lt. Col. Edwin L Phillips passed away November 13, 2013 in Wellington, Kansas at the age of 86.
Ed, as he was known to most, was born in Oak Park, Illinois June 23, 1927, to John and Annette Phillips.
Ed attended a military grammar school and went on to earn a degree in Pre-Law at the University of Houston. He was then commissioned as an officer in the United States Air Force and fulfilled his lifelong dream of becoming an Air Force pilot. He became one of the first pilots to fly the B45 Tornado- the first jet bomber of the Air Force. During his career he had grand adventures. One adventure was to eject over the English Channel when one of the engines malfunctioned.
Ed met and married his wife, Marjorie June Moore, while attending University of Houston. They had four children together: Ken, Charles, Annette and Michelle. As an Air Force family they traveled the world. From Texas to Florida, then on to England for three 3 years. He served 3 years in Indianapolis teaching ground school at Butler University and 4 years in Japan. He spent two 3 year tours at Laredo Air Force Base, Texas in Pilot Training Command teaching countless young lieutenants to fly. He served a term Vietnam. He spent a short tour in Kansas City and then two 3 year tours at Hickam AFB in Honolulu Hawaii. Ed dearly loved to fly and flew many different aircraft over the span of his career.
He retired in San Antonio, Texas and continued to fly with the Kelly AFB flight club. He taught young enthusiasts to fly…even into the new millennium until health problems grounded him.
Ed relocated to the Enid, Oklahoma area in 2010 after the death of his Margie. He wanted to be near his grandchildren and children whom he enjoyed immensely. He was very proud of all of them. His youngest granddaughter is following in his footsteps. Angelica is currently a senior at the United States Air Force Academy on track to be a pilot.
Ed is survived by Kenneth and Elsa Phillips of San Antonio, Texas, Charles and Grace Phillips of San Antonio, Texas; Annette Leap and Greg Conrady of Caldwell Kansas and Michelle Phillips of Austin Texas, grandchildren Wendi Little and husband Yancey of Nixa MO, Molly Athey and husband Scott of Enid, Oklahoma; Casey Leap of Wichita Kansas and Angelica Phillips of San Antonio, Texas; great grandchildren, Cade and Kannon Little of Nixa, MO and Tanner and Anna-Beth Athey of Enid, Oklahoma.
Up to the last few months of his life he would look to the sky in Enid to see the Vance AFB training planes and remark “Lucky Bastards!”
He will be missed by all.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made at Schaeffer Mortuary, Caldwell, Kansas to the Alzheimer Association.
Memorial services, November 30, 2013 at St Martins Catholic Church, Caldwell, KS. Rosary will be held at 2:15 p.m. with Mass following at 3:00 p.m. with Fr. Dwight Birket officiating.