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John W. Phillips

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John W. Phillips

Pine River

John W. Phillips, 78, of Pine River, passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by his loving family, on Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014, after a five-month battle with cancer.

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The celebration of life was held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 22, at Riverview Church in Pine River. Visitation was held Tuesday evening from 5-7 p.m. at Kline Funeral Home in Pine River. Burial will be in Norwood Cemetery, rural Pine River.

John Weston Phillips was born Jan. 30, 1935, in Pine River, to Nicholas and Mabel (Henderson) Phillips. He attended Whitefish Country School until the sixth grade and graduated from Pine River High School in 1953. He studied at Bemidji State College.

On Jan. 15, 1956, John married the love of his life, Patricia Gail Udseth. John and Pat raised five children. Early in their marriage, John’s work took them to a number of cities — between here and California. In 1962 they returned to Pine River, and have lived on his family’s farm since 1965.

John was an insulator with the Insulators Union for many years. In 1972 John bought Lakes Feed Mill, which he and Pat operated for 13 years. He was active in the Riverview Church and over the years served as an elder and Sunday school teacher. John had a passion for quarter horses and in retirement enjoyed his annual trips to ride in the western United States’ various mountain ranges. He rode the Chief Joseph Trail Ride two years in a row in Idaho and Montana. In recent years he looked forward to his annual trip with his sons and wife to the mountain trails in the Galatin National Forest near Bozeman, Mont.

John is survived by his wife, Pat; his daughter, Kim (Joel) Ericson; sons, Chris (Miriam), Mike (Kathy), Rick (Melissa) and Robb. He has 10 grandchildren, Elise, Evan, Kirsten, Erianna, Wesley, Clara, Emmy, Robbie, Graham and Gage; and one great-granddaughter, Gracie. He has one sister, Carol Hauge; and many nieces, nephews and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents; sisters, Gail and Elaine; and brother, Leonard.

The family appreciates the kind and compassionate care John received from the Good Samaritan Homecare and Hospice.

Arrangements were with Kline Funeral Home, Pine River.

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