Francis E. Phillips, 81, of North Powder, died Aug. 31, 2006, at Grande Ronde Hospital in La Grande.

There will be a celebration of his life at 5 p.m. today at North Powder Grange. It will be preceded by a reception at 4 p.m. today at the Grange Hall.

His cremated remains will be scattered at Keating Bluff on Tuesday.

Francis was born April 14, 1925, in Stroud, Okla., to Bableum Alanzo and Ruth Fern Black Phillips. The family lived on a farm with cotton, corn and peanut crops. Family members also worked cattle, horses and mules.

They moved to Baker City in 1934 to a farm on Pocahontas Road. Francis cut his first tooth on a saddle horn while riding with his father, and he drove a team of mules at age 10.

At age 17, Francis joined the Navy, serving on the U.S.S. ROI, a 1944 carrier escort vessel in the Pacific. His military travels took him to Guam, New Guinea, Saipan and Pearl Harbor. He was honorably discharged from the Navy in 1946 at Shoemaker, Calif.

He married Dorothy M. Calloway on March 7, 1948, in Baker City.

Francis worked as a ranch hand on local ranches, and he dearly loved the Keating Valley. He retired from the Phillips Ranch after 17 years of service. Francis also worked as a meat cutter and delivery truck driver for Eastern Oregon Meat and Sweets Valley Sausage. He worked at La Grande Livestock, Baker Livestock and in Walla Walla, Wash., at the sale yard.

Francis loved the outdoors, mountains, hunting, fishing, camping and dancing. He floated on air around a dance floor, and anybody could follow his lead. His family all loved listening to him tell stories about his childhood shenanigans with friends, and his military adventures.

He was active in the community of North Powder, serving two years on City Council. He helped with the car shows by setting up the poker run. He was an avid supporter of school athletics. He was a big help on city cleanup day and with disbursement of the food bank every month in North Powder.

Survivors include his wife, Dorothy; his daughters, Marjorie Miller, Gloria Bailey, Shirley Rogers and Patty Phillips; two sons-in-law; 11 grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, Floyd and Claude; and he also lost one sister and two brothers as infants.

Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, September 4, 2006
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor