Raymond Donald Phillips
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Raymond Donald Phillips
  • July 3, 1925 - August 19, 2017
  • Plano, Texas

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Steve RD Phillips Life Story

Steve was born Raymond Donald Phillips on July 3, 1925, in Kingston, New York, to Frank Ladd Phillips and Dorothy (Edwards) Phillips.

He was the 4th of 9 children including Frank Jr., Dorothy, Malcolm, Raymond, Paul, Russell, Eleanor, David, and Stephen Cole (half brother). All but Eleanor and Paul are deceased.

When he was only 4, the Great Depression started, and his father lost his automotive repair business and decided to take advantage of a government program that was giving free land to anyone who would take it in Oklahoma.

The family then moved cross-country to settle in Liberty, Oklahoma, just across the border from Fort Smith, Arkansas, in the early 1930's. Life was hard there.

When his father, Frank, died in 1939 at the age of 57, Raymond was forced to leave home to make money to help support his mother. About that time, he took the nickname of Steve, which he used for the rest of his life. He moved in with his older sister Dorothy, who had married young and lived on a farm near Fort Smith. At first he helped out on the farm, but when he had reached 16, he was able to get a job at the Sears store there and earn money to send back to his mother.

When he reached the age of 18 in 1943, he was inducted into the service, but chose to enlist in the Navy. He served as a storekeeper on an aircraft carrier named the U.S.S. Barnes.

When the war ended in 1945, he met and married Margaret Horvath in Oakland, California. They remained together until her death in 2008. They had 2 children, Steven Ray Phillips, born in August of 1946 and Sherry Lynette Phillips (now Poore) in March of 1949, both born in Oakland, CA.

Steve had many jobs, including his own small coffee house, named Steve's Place, in Oakland for a couple years, and as a shoe salesman and assistant manager for Feltman and Curm. When offered a job with a raise in pay and advancement at one of their stores in Spokane, WA, he moved there with his family in 1951.

Steve had many interests and innate skills and was a veritable Jack of All Trades. While in Spokane, he decided to leave the shoe business and became a salesman for the Forester's organization. He enrolled in a correspondence course for Television Repair and started his own

TV repair business. He also was a professional Bowling Instructor on the side after taking courses from Buddy Bomar. He sold the TV Repair business in 1961 and moved back to California, settling in Sacramento. There he had several jobs as a manager in retail stores until starting his own Bowling Pro Shop business, which excelled. He became well-known in the area by the professional bowlers, some of whom would drive 200 miles just to have him fit and drill bowling balls for them. He was also an outstanding bowler with a scratch average well above 200.

Around 1990 he sold his 2nd Pro Shop business and semi-retired. He bought a small house in north Sacramento where he continued to drill balls and meet with people daily. He called it his Warehouse and went there nearly every day to spend time. This continued until he lost most of his vision to Macular Degeneration in 2002 so that he could no longer see to watch TV or drive or read. His dementia also started to become evident as he had suffered some strokes.

He was an avid reader, favoring Westerns, so when he lost his eyesight, he continued with his hobby by listening to audio books, obtained from the local library that was only a short distance from his home.

When he lost his beloved wife, Madge, in 2008, he was quite distraught and since he was blind with advancing dementia, had to be cared for. He moved to Plano, Texas, and lived with his son, who cared for him for the next 8 years. In November of 2016 the dementia had become so bad that he was having hallucinations and was too difficult to handle. So he moved to a special Dementia and Alzheimer's care facility where he lived until his death, but still under the watchful eye (and an in-room camera) of his son.

To his final days he continued to stay witty and positive, continually thanking God for his family, for whom he was incredibly grateful and proud.

He is survived by his son, Steven Phillips (Grace), of Plano TX, and daughter Sherry Poore (Richard), of Elk Grove, CA, grandchildren Aymi, Richelle, Gracie, Paul, Dustin, and Stephanie, 6 great-grandchildren, brother Paul (Jan) in California and sister Ellie Roach in Missouri.

The family is not requesting flowers or cards or bequests to a charity, but instead prayers for the repose of Steve's soul. May he Rest in Peace and Perpetual Light shine upon him.

Arrangements under the direction of Ted Dickey West Funeral Home, Dallas, TX.