Michael E. Phillips
March 11, 1947 - February 12, 2021
Michael Earl Phillips passed away at the age of 73 on February 12, 2021.
Mike Phillips was born to Robert E. Phillips and Betty Jean Hibbs, on March 11, 1947, in the old hospital on 2nd Street in Prineville, Oregon. Mike was the middle child of two brothers. His older brother Fred and younger brother Rob were his most cherished heroes, his best friends, and supporters (They all loved to ride motorcycles and horses together).
Mike enjoyed going for Sunday car rides into the country with his family. His mom and dad would help the boys in the hay fields in the evenings and weekends and the boys would hunt together whenever possible. He also had found memories growing up in Prineville, Oregon and spending many days with Delbert Beal riding and showing his animals at different events that eventually led to his work with cattle.
“My mom and dad taught me the value of family and hard work and the importance of kindness to others who are less fortunate,” Mike wrote in a journal. Family was very important to Mike and he rarely missed meeting up with family for reunions, to celebrate special celebrations, or to offer his support when loved ones needed it the most.
After graduating from Crook County High School in 1965 in Prineville, Oregon. He attended Central Oregon Community College and took business courses in addition to being cast in the musical Camelot. He thought that was a real “hoot” as he admittedly couldn’t carry a musical note in a bucket if he had to.
Mike spent three years in the Army from 1966 - 1969 with his first tour in Germany and last eleven months in Vietnam in addition to a short time in Panama. Mike married his high school sweetheart Esther Ann Williams. Mike knew the Williams family most of his life. However, he didn’t start dating Esther until the summer of his junior year in high school. Their first date was at the Prineville Dam watching fi reworks on the Fourth of July. Mike will admit that the wedding proposal didn’t go as planned, but she said “yes”, and the rest is history. Mike and Esther moved to Seattle, WA and were married for 41 years when his loving wife passed away in 2011 after batt ling breast cancer for two years. Mike’s love for Esther was eminent as shown by him bringing fresh flowers weekly and visiting her resting place for years. Mike was also preceded in death by his father, Robert Phillips, and his mother, Betty Jean Phillips.
He leaves his legacy to his two daughters and their spouses: Alicia and Mandy Phillips, Andrea and Carlos Ruiz. Mike aka “Poppa” is also survived by his four grandchildren: Keira and Dru Phillips, Catalina and Evelyn Ruiz. He loved them all fiercely and taught them the importance of hard work and play. Mike also once wrote that he wants to be remembered as he remembers his dad - a faithful husband, a great friend and dad. He always gave more than he took, and he never expected more from you than you were willing to give.
A private graveside service will be held Saturday March 27th in Seattle due to COVID restrictions.