Michael R. "Mike" Phillips, Sr., age 78, of Iredell, passed away on February 18, 2021 in Hamilton.
Graveside services were held on Saturday, February 20, 2021 at 2 p.m. in the Mitchell Cemetery in Iredell. Rev. Dr. Neil Wade officiated. Visitation was held at Lawson Funeral Home in Meridian from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. Friday, February 19, 2021. Masonic rites were performed by the Iredell Masonic Lodge #405.
Mike was born January 28,1943 in Stephenville to Rance and Elizabeth "Betsy" Fouts Phillips. He was raised and educated in Iredell and spent his lifetime there, other than when he was away working in pipeline construction.
Mike was an endowed member and Past Master of Iredell Masonic Lodge. He instructed many up-and-coming members in their memory work. He also organized and conducted the first Mountain Top Masters Degree and Barbecue for Iredell Lodge on Phillips Mountain over 50 years ago.
Mike was a second generation pipeliner. He worked as a heavy equipment operator, foreman and superintendent in the pipeline industry in almost every state and around the world for over fifty years. From the North Slope of Alaska to the jungles of Panama and the pampas of Argentina to the deserts of Libya. He was a mentor and inspiration to hundreds, if not thousands of other pipeliners, including his own sons and grandchildren.
Mike loved the outdoors and all its beauty. He loved to hunt and fish, especially fishing for the big "yeller" catfish in his beloved Bosque River. It was a passion with him, just like his gardens and grapes and honeybee hives. He enjoyed the study of horticulture and knew all the flora and fauna of his native land. He loved the lure of gold mining and tried his hand at it a few times. He loved good horses and cattle and knew the history of many pedigrees. He was a man of nature and lived his life in her elements and will rest now in her earthly bosom.
Mike was a family man and loved them with a kind, doting heart. He adored his late mother Betsy and grandmother Mae. With his high school sweetheart Brenda, he raised three wonderful children, and with his lifetime love and helpmate Lynda they raised her children. Young and old alike were drawn to him with his honest, hearty laugh and bright eyed, infectious smile. "Hang tight big boy!" was his byline.
Mike was preceded in death by his parents and an infant granddaughter. He is survived by his loving wife Lynda of the home, sons Michael Rance Phillips, Jr. and wife, Beth of Iredell; David Bradley Phillips and wife, Allison of Iredell; and daughter Judy Michelle Phillips Kelly and husband, David, of Fort Worth. Mike is also survived by Lynda's children Britton Coan; Bridget White and husband, William; Larry Clark and wife, Jenn; and Breezey Clark. He is also survived by numerous grandchildren, great grandchildren, other relatives and a dear cousin, Joe David Fouts, as well as hundreds of pipeline families all over the world and a host of friends. He will be dearly missed.
Arrangements were entrusted to Lawson Funeral Home, Meridian, Texas 254-435-2792.