Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Richard “Dick” W. Phillips, 71
Richard “Dick” W. Phillips, 71, of International Falls, Minn. died on Nov. 20, 2008 in Yuma, Ariz.
He was born on May 27, 1937 at St. Olaf Hospital in Austin to Fred J. and Virginia L. Phillips. He attended Columbus grade school and St. Augustine High School in Austin. He graduated in 1955 from St. Augustine and went on to attend the St. John’s University from 1955 to 1957. Dick enlisted into the U.S. Army in 1957 and was honorably discharged in 1960. He served in the Army Security Agency as a Morse Code radio operator. He achieved the rank of sergeant. Following his enlistment he attended the Austin Junior College from 1960 to 1961 and graduated with an associate of arts degree. He then attended Mankato State University from 1961 to 1963 and graduated with bachelor of arts and bachelor of science degrees. From 1963 to 1964 Dick taught at Pacelli High School in Austin, then returned to the Mankato State University during 1964 and 1965 when he graduated with a master’s degree in history. In 1966 and 1967 he worked as a corrections agent for the State of Minnesota in Albert Lea. From 1967 to 1999 he taught history and economics at Rainy River Community College in International Falls, and was one of the founding faculty members of the Rainy River Community College in 1967. He retired in 1999 after 32 years of teaching. Between 1974 and 1996 Dick worked at the Naturalization and Immigration Service as a summer seasonal inspector on the International Bridge in International Falls.
In 2002 he was united in marriage to Marilyn Alyce Vohler Pelto Busch Phillips. In his spare time Dick loved watching sports. He also enjoyed fishing and traveling to Mexico to have his cerveza. He also enjoyed meeting new people and he never met a stranger. He always believed in what was right. He also said he “never met anyone who, for what they believed, was wrong.” He was an active member of the St. Thomas Catholic Church and the International Falls Elks Lodge.
Dick is survived by his wife, Marilyn; stepson, Bob Pelto, Elk River, Minn.; step-daughters, Lori Pelto, Monticello, Minn. and Lisa (John) Follmer, Elk River; step-grandchildren, Jake and Jani Larsen, Kristina and Brianna Busch and step-great-granddaughter Adison.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Fred and Virginia.
Visitation is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 28, 2008 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the St. Thomas Catholic Church with a 6:30 p.m. Rosary. A funeral mass will be conducted on Saturday, Nov. 29, 2008 at the St. Thomas Catholic Church at 10 a.m. Interment will be in the St. Thomas Catholic Cemetery, International Falls, following services. Memorials are preferred to the St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Dick’s memory. Condolences may be left at www.greenlarsen.com and arrangements are with the Green-Larsen Mortuary, Inc.