Phil L. Nacke
The world lost an out-of-the-box, passionate and creative soul, father, grandfather, cousin, colleague, educator, partner and friend when Phil L. Nacke, of Meridian, Texas, passed away on Monday, March 4, 2019, at Providence Hospital in Waco after battling a severe lung infection.
Born December 4, 1934, to Henry and Alice (Quirin) Nacke, Phil grew up on the family farm near Granville, Iowa. Named Philip (“lover of horses”) by his father, Phil had a lifelong passion for animals, especially his beloved Arabian horses; flowers, especially orchids and iris; music, especially piano and organ performance; and educating and supporting young people in their passions.
After graduating from St. Mary’s Academy in Alton, Iowa, in 1952, Phil studied Latin and English at Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa. He obtained his Master’s degree from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, and his Doctorate in Reading Education from the University of British Columbia.
A lifelong educator, Phil began his teaching career at Cumberland (Iowa) High School, where he taught Latin and English. After moving to Arizona, Phil taught Reading Education in Tempe. Phil then was on the faculty at Jersey City State College in New Jersey, before moving to the University of Kentucky, Lexington, where he was tenured professor, teaching Curriculum and Instruction in the Education Department. While at U.K., Phil served on the dissertation committees of a number of music students and also taught courses in health care strategies through the Nursing program.
After retiring as professor emeritus from U.K. in the early 1990s, Phil returned to the family farm in Iowa to care for his mother and sister. While in Kentucky, Phil obtained his first Arabian mare. In Iowa, Phil continued to raise horses, Red Angus cattle, Vizslas and Jack Russel Terriers. Phil moved his horse farm to Bosque County in 2010.
Phil’s love of music formed an enduring thread through his life. From an early age, Phil sang for services in the Catholic Church, and later learned to play piano and organ. While at Loras College, he toured and sang with the Lorians, a student musical group. In Lexington, Phil served as Musical Director at St. Peter Claver Catholic Church and was honored to play for one of U.K.’s commencement exercises. After moving to Bosque County, Phil became active in the Bosque Civic Music Association, where he served as Chair of the Hospitality Committee and was the creator and driving force behind The Showcase of Young Musicians, a forum for the young people of Bosque County to share their musical talents with the community. Phil was also an active member and sponsor of the Bosque Chorale.
Phil was preceded in death by his parents and his older sister, Shirley Ann Nacke. Left to carry on Phil’s legacy are his daughter, Ann Shippy and grandsons, Grant and Reed Shippy of Austin, TX; daughter, Laura Roberts and granddaughters Ava and Ella Alexander of Austin, TX; daughter, Onyay Pheori of Los Angeles, Ca; and partner, Bill Calhoon of Meridian, TX.
A celebration of Phil’s life will be held on Saturday, May 11, 2019, 1:00 p.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church in Clifton.
In lieu of flowers, please make a contribution to your favorite charity.