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Kenneth W. Phillips,78, passed away on June 28, 2017. He was born in Ronan, Montana, on August 18, 1938. He was one of seven children born to Waldo and Mildred (Stevens) Phillips. He is survived by his five remaining siblings: Lorraine (Emery) Johnson of Seeley Lake, Donald (Rosemarie) Phillips of Missoula, Ron (Carol) Phillips of St.Ignatius, Lloyd (Joann) Phillips of St. Ignatius, and Kathy (Dean) Marquardt of Billings. He is also survived by many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Ken has been a life long resident of the Mission Valley. Kenny grew up on a farm outside of St. Ignatius where his family ranched and raised cattle. He joined the army reserve when he was a junior in high school. He graduated from St. Ignatius High School in 1956. Ken was a great athlete. He played on the 1956 basketball team, which won the state tournament that year. He played in both the Shrine football and the Shrine basketball games.
After graduation he married Sharon (Morin) Hill. They had four children together. Roxanne (Phillips) Bassette, Robyn (Rocky) Schock, Kenneth (Teri) Phillips, and Lori (Phillips) Adams. They later divorced.
It was his pleasure to have nine grandchildren: Ryan (Alyssa), Randy, and Rocky Jr. Schock - K.C. Phillips and Samantha (Damosio) Zepeda – Kolbie and Jacey Adams - Rory and Reese Bird and five great grandchildren: Dylan, Lola, Anabell, Ivy, and Hunter Schock.
In his early years he worked at farming and ranching. He grew to have a life time love of horses, always trading for this one or buying that one.
Later he and his long time partner Virginia Butler lived in Arlee. Together they had Gabriel Phillips. He also considered Virgie’s children, Claudette (Rodney) Bird and John Butler, part of his family. He took great pride and pleasure helping with Claudette and Rodney Bird’s children, Rory and Reese Bird.
For a number of years he worked for Bob Schall on his ranch in Arlee. He helped with rodeos and livestock.
He owned and operated Cabin Creek Outfitters for close to fifty years, taking many hunters and fishermen into the back country. Ken had a love of the mountains. He was an avid reader and historian.
Kenny spent numerous hours watching sporting events. He attended ball games all over the state. He loved talking about and watching sports. He knew all the players and loved connecting with them. Conversation and interaction with people brought him great pleasure.
A celebration honoring Ken’s life will be held at the Arlee gymnasium, Friday, July 14, 2017 from 5:00 - 8:00 p.m. Please join us for a meal and all the stories we can tell!
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