On April 17, 2020 Donald Gene Phillips joined his beloved wife Mary in the arms of the Lord.
He was born April 20, 1932 in Council Bluffs, Iowa, the first child of Louie Robert Phillips and Mabel Olive Hyett. Several years after his birth the family moved to the Eldon Iowa area where he grew up and graduated from high school. On April 18,1952 he enlisted in the Air Force and became an air traffic controller. He met his wife, Mary Jean Findlay, at the Ernest Harmon Air Force Base, in New Foundland and they were married on August 21, 1954. The following year they moved across the United States to Larson Air Force Base in Moses Lake, Washington, where he was discharged on April 17,1956.
He then was hired by the Civil Aeronautics Authority and began his career as an air traffic controller. He was assigned to the Saint Louis Air Traffic Control Tower as his first facility. Over the course of his career he was a supervisor at Lincoln, Nebraska and the first tower manager at Rapid City, South Dakota. He then became the manager at Moline,Illinois and retired from there in 1990 after 38 years of FAA service. After retirement he started his own cabinet business and raised several horses as a hobby.
Don was a member of Mary Our Lady Of Peace Catholic Church in Orion,Illinois, where he resided for 50 years with his wife and family before moving to Saint Louis, Missouri.
Don was a member of the VFW, the Elks Lodge, Orion School Board, Valley View Country Club in Cambridge, IL and served on various committees for the church. Among some of the projects he assisted with was raising money by building a house for the Orion Athletic Booster Club, the remodeling of the Catholic Church, and many other projects through out the area.
Don was a loving husband, father, grandpa, great-grandpa, brother, uncle and friend to many. He enjoyed life and talking with and meeting people. He is survived by his seven children; Alan (Karen) Phillips, Mary Lynn (Jack) Bailey, Brian (Holly) Phillips, Janet Ianniello, Karen (Ken) Kempen, Robert (Jessie) Phillips, and Donna Phillips, seventeen grandchildren, fifteen great grandchildren,
his sister Joyce Watts and Sharon Fitzwater, brother Garry Phillips, and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife, his parents, brother Ronald Phillips and sister Iris Diane Pohren.
Services: Funeral Mass and military services will be conducted at a later date to be determined. A service of the Schrader Funeral Home and Crematory,14960 Manchester Road at Holloway, Ballwin, Missouri. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Mary Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church, Attn: Don Phillips Memorial, 1402 10th Street, Orion, IL 61273. Friends may sign the family's on-line guestbook at Schrader.com.