It is with great sorrow that the Phillips family announces the passing of Rodney “Papa” Phillips. He was a gracious husband, a loyal and generous father, and an adventurous grandpa and great-grandpa. He was born the eighth and last child to Sigrid Phillips on January 30, 1932 and his family were all waiting for him on the other side, to make his journey to heaven on June 10, 2019.
Rodney lived locally his whole life moving between Freshwater and Loleta, and everywhere in between. He grew up with five brothers and two sisters and his mother. When he was grown, he joined the army and was stationed in Japan. After an honorable discharge he came home and got a job with the Railroad. On Valentines Day he went out on a blind date with who turned out to be the love of his life, Darlene Hodgson (Phillips). They eloped six months later in Reno. Within a few years they started a family, consisting of three children: Denise, Kevin and Brenda Phillips, all of Eureka. He began working for Pacific Bell, which became his lifelong work. Rod and Darlene enjoyed all of the parties and luncheons they attended.
Rodney started abalone diving with a few of his brothers, which quickly became a lifelong tradition of camping and fun for both family and friends. He was also an avid golfer with brother Calvin and their son’s Kevin and Brian. Rod and Darlene took their family on great adventures every summer. Once the kids were grown they continued to travel, becoming “snowbirds” in Mesa, Arizona. In 1993, two weeks before Rodney was to become a grandpa again, he retired allowing him all the time he wanted to play with them. Darlene and Rod were married 63 and ½ years, and had a retirement most couples could only dream of.
Rod was preceded in death by his mother Sigrid Phillips and his seven siblings: Christine, Art, Sydney, George and John Areson, and Calvin and Leonard Phillips, along with all of their wives and husbands. Also by his nephew Brian Phillips and his good friend Pete Aguire.
Rod is survived by his devoted wife Darlene Phillips, his three loving children Denise, Kevin and Brenda Phillips, his grandchildren Kristen Webb, Tayler, Emily and Justin Phillips and his great-grandchildren Danica and Prince Bean all of Eureka. Also his grandson-in-law Brandon Bean and his best friend Dave Brazil, who kept him active way into his 80s, along with numerous nieces and nephews.
Rod had a very special family, and he had no regrets. Once you became friends of his family, you were a part of it forever more. Rest in Peace, Papa. We all love and miss you!
There will be a private service for immediate family only on Friday June 21, 2019. We wish to thank the exceptional nursing staff at St. Joseph Hospital and Hospice of Humboldt. Our Papa always felt he was in good hands when away from home and his family.
To send flowers to Rodney's family, please visit our floral section.