January 20, 1929 – July 14, 2021
Born in Raymond, NE
Resided in Lincoln, NE
Irvin L. Phillips
Irvin LaVern Phillips was born January 20, 1929, near Raymond, Nebraska. Four years later, his parents Forrest and Pearl, settled on a farm 6 miles southwest of Douglas, where Irvin grew up. Irvin attended West Point School. A born storyteller, he always enjoyed telling his grandchildren that it took him 8 years to get through West Point, a one room country schoolhouse for grades 1 through 8! During this time, he rode a goat to school, and contributed to the family income by trapping coyotes and skunks, selling the skins in Nebraska City. Irvin loved his life, the open prairies, and freedom he had growing up and living in rural Nebraska. He almost quit school but a friend convinced him to transfer from Sterling High to Douglas High School. During this time he met the love of his life, Wilma Forshey, at 4-H meetings held at Wilma’s home. He would never admit he liked school, but in fact he excelled in his classes and received a Regent’s Scholarship to the University of Nebraska. But farming was in his blood, handed down to him from generations of farmers, so Irvin turned down that scholarship and began to pursue the life of a farmer. He and Wilma married on December 13, 1948, and raised 4 children while farming just a couple miles from where he grew up. Married 72 1/2 years, their family included 10 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren. They farmed until retiring in 1991. Although Irvin worked a variety of jobs in wintertime, he always liked being his own boss as a farmer. His entire life included hunting and fishing adventures taking him as far as Saskatchewan. That enthusiasm led him to buy his second boat when he turned 90! He and Wilma took many trips throughout the years with their dear friends, Ronnie and Wanda Ferguson, and Don and Inez Brownlee. So many stories to tell, jokes to remember, and card games to play at the old Pony Express. But most recently this past April, Irvin fulfilled his dream of dancing with his great-granddaughter at her wedding. Irvin’s life was filled with family, friends and neighbors and he dearly loved each one. After suffering a stroke on April 25, Irvin’s new friends at Hillcrest Firethorn marveled at all the family and friends who came to see him every day. Irvin passed peacefully on July 14, 2021, at 9:12 am. In a better place now with our Lord in heaven, he will be greatly missed by many but his legacy lives on through the lives of those he knew and loved.
Survivors include his wife Wilma, married 72 1/2 years; two sons, Ralph (Candy), and Chris (Pam); two daughters, JoAnn Schmidt, and Patti Beeck (Jerry); grandchildren John Phillips (Dayna), Brent Phillips (Shannon), Cathy Paider, Steven Phillips (Amanda), Russell Phillips (Flavia), Jack Phillips (Patricia), Angela Sup (Joel), Ashley Mannis (Heath), JoNeil Walker (Brian), Brian Piper (Cara); great-grandchildren Mercedes Phillips, Lincoln Phillips, Elisa Paider, Alex Paider, Harrison Paider; twins Hailey and Mackenzie Phillips, Arabella Phillips,Henry Phillips, Morrighan Phillips, Maddock Phillips, Brittany Sup, Berkley Mannis, Jade Moylan (Mitchell), Derek Walker, twins Mason and Lexi Piper, Chloe Piper; a sister, Sharon Boldt, as well as many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Irvin was preceded in death by his parents, Forrest and Pearl (Carlisle) Phillips, a sister Evonne Scheib, and a great-grandson, Rowdy Mannis.
Funeral Service: 11:00 a.m. Monday (7-19-21) Roper and Sons South Lincoln Chapel, 3950 Hohensee Drive. Livestream available ten minutes prior to service at roperandsons.com/livestream.
Burial will be 2:30 p.m. at Rosehill Cemetery, Douglas, NE.
Visitation 2-4 p.m. Sunday at Roper and Sons South Lincoln Chapel.
Memorials to Douglas Volunteer Fire and Rescue, Rosehill Cemetery Association or Hillcrest Firethorn.
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