AMerican Veteran 11

Harry A. Phillips, Jr.

July 3, 1927 ~ July 9, 2020 (age 93)


Harry Arnold Phillips, Jr, age 93, passed away peacefully with his family by his side on Thursday, July 9, 2020, at his home in Broomfield after a courageous battle with dementia.

Harry is survived by his three grandchildren, Ryan Phillips, Katy (Jesus) Santoyo, and Jenna Phillips; and his daughter-in-law, Debby Phillips. 

He is preceded in death by his wife, Myra Beth; his two children, Jeffrey Phillips and Julie Phillips; and his siblings, Jeanne Steinbach, Doris Davis, Pauline Phillips, and John Phillips. 

He was born on July 3, 1927, in Paola, Kansas, to Harry and Irma Phillips (Thompson). He lived in Sioux City, Iowa with his family until eventually moving to Denver, Colorado in 1939 where he graduated from North High School.             

In 1950, he was drafted by the Army to serve during the Korean War after having served in the Merchant Marines during World War II.

He met the love of his life Myra Beth O’Hara at an Irish bar on St. Patrick’s Day and later married her on November 29, 1953. They remained together and were inseparable for nearly 54 years until Myra passed away in 2007 following a decades-long battle with MS. 

On October 30, 1956 and August 30, 1960 respectively, they welcomed their two children Jeffrey and Julie.

Harry was the Director of Land and Contracts at the Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad where he oversaw attainment and sale of land on behalf of the railroad. He spent his entire career with D&RGWR before retiring in the early 1990’s, and always spoke fondly of his time there.

Poppa, as his grandchildren called him, was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and friend. He found joy in traveling with his wife until her health no longer allowed for it. He was an avid golfer even into his late eighties, regularly playing at Red Rocks Country Club with his neighbors, and visiting other courses with his friends. He made every effort to spend time with his grandchildren, picking them up from school once a week when they were younger. He also enjoyed taking his family to breakfast or dinner almost every weekend in later years.

Despite the traumatic loss of both children and the death of his wife, he always remained optimistic and was known as a kind and generous man with a contagious laugh. His grandchildren and daughter-in-law will miss him deeply and are forever thankful to have had so much time with him. They will never forget his stories, his sayings, the way he sneezed after eating chocolate, and how much he meant to them.

Instead of flowers, please take your family out for lunch, play a round of golf with a friend, or raise a glass of gin on the rocks in his memory.


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