March 10, 1930 – September 16, 2020 (age 90)
Red was born the 8th child of James Bert Phillips and Emma Elmira Phillips on the 10th day of March in 1930.
He said he was not sure why they named him LaVern because it reminded him of a girl’s name and the kids teased him about his red hair by calling him Red. He liked it much better than LaVern so he became Red. He was the only redhead.
He was born in Aberdeen and attended schools there where he graduated from high school. He later obtained a degree in electronics from ISU which led him to his supervisory position with FMC.
When he was a boy they would go up to the hills with their father to herd sheep and would be gone for months at a time. When at home the boys played pool on a table that was out in the yard because there was no room in the house. He continued to shoot pool and earned several trophies as well as trophies for golf as he became an adult. In fact he is an avid lover of sports and will watch any and all that is telecast.
His memories include a two seater outhouse, homemade clothing, mom’s haircuts, sling shots and trips to Oregon to help his brother with his sawmill. The boys would ride in the trailer and throw apples at cars.
A tender memory was of his mother. I was the youngest and closer to my mother and always felt very protective of her.
He served in the United States Army from 1939 to 1943. His time was spent in Germany where he said he really liked the Fraulein’s.
He tells the story of coming home and walking down the street there were these three very nice looking girls. He started dating Nina and when she dumped him he asked her sister Colleen out. Red fell hard and married her in 1953. This romance lasted 68 years and five children. He loves his children and grandchildren so much. They keep him going.
Colleen truly was the love of his life and he missed her so very much when he lost her in 2011. This was devastating but he had her sealed to him in 2012.
In 2014 he fell in love with and married his sweetheart Judy Barbre, a friend of his and Colleen’s. Judy and Colleen had been companions as ministers for several years.
Red made his living by working for FMC for many years, later retiring from there. One of his men from there said Red was the only supervisor who would fight for his men. He made many friends at work, at home, everywhere. His heart was bigger than he was. Time was spent while at home working on cars, his great love. He rebuilt several old cars and sold everyone of them.
Don Cole, Kay and Juanita Davies, and Red were golfing companions and liked to spend time together. They are still friends but have lost Kay. Golf is now history but I can still watch it on TV.
Red was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Colleen, a son Michael and all of his siblings. Brothers; Narvel, Lavoy, Leon, Gereld, Donny, unknown name of brother who passed at age 6 years, and one sister Elva. Red is survived by his wife Judy, daughters, Becky Hendricks, Kelly (John) Rankin, sons: Dan Phillips, Sam (Joyce) Phillips.
He is also survived by the children of Judy, Rebecca (Jeff) Newlin, Wisconsin; Cynthia (Brent) Nelson, Tremonton, Utah; Katy (Bret) Adams, Tremonton, Utah; Stephen (Amanda) Willard, Blackfoot, Idaho.
Together Red and Judy have 22 grandchildren, 23 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandson.
A public viewing was held from 12:00 noon – 1:00pm Tuesday, September 22, 2020 at Wilks Funeral Home, 211 West Chubbuck Road, Chubbuck, Idaho.
The family would like to express their gratitude for the amazing care, incredible support and compassion provided by Solace Hospice, Dr. Brady Martin and family members who gave him care before his passing.
Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at Wilks Funeral Home.