Lyle Elton Phillips was born on Aug. 16, 1924, to Homer and Marchie (Payton) Phillips on a farm northwest of Oswego. He attended Labette County rural schools and graduated from Labette County Community High School in 1943.
He was inducted into the Army on July 2, 1943. While serving in the Pacific, he was in route to Japan when the atomic bomb ended World War II. After serving with the U.S. Occupation Forces, he was discharged on Feb. 28, 1946. He continued serving in the U.S. Army Reserves and retired as a chief warrant officer.
He married Mary Belle Ritchie on June 20, 1944, in Oswego.
Survivors include three children, Sarah Osborn of Hot Springs, Ark., Douglas Phillips of College Station, Texas, and Craig Phillips of Manhattan; three grandchildren, Erin Mortenson of Saipan (Northern Marianas Islands), Jeff Osborn of Baltimore and Patrick Phillips of Sri Lanka; a sister, Zelia Davis of Wichita; and six brothers, Ronald Phillips of Butler, Mo., Homer Roscoe “H.R.” Phillips of Fort Collins, Colo., Verlyn Phillips of Overland Park, Albert “Abe” Phillips of St. Louis and Arvon Phillips and Terry Phillips, both of Parsons.
He was preceded in death by two sisters, Rosalie Keaton and Wilma Welden; and a brother, Robert Phillips.
He worked for the Kansas Division of Employment in Coffeyville and Independence and was manager of the Parsons office before moving to the administrative office in Topeka. There he served as field supervisor, chief of field operations, chief of technical services and eventually state director of the Unemployment Insurance Service. After retiring in 1985, he and Mary Belle moved to their farm near Parsons.
He was a member of the Parsons First Baptist Church, where he was church treasurer, Sunday school superintendent and scout leader and served on many committees. He was also a member of the Lions Club, the Parsons Historical Society board, the American Legion, Retired Reserve Officers’ Association and the International Association of Personnel in Employment Security, and served as a chairman of the Parsons American Red Cross fund drive.
He enjoyed camping, hunting, canoeing and taking Mary Belle fishing. He loved and enjoyed his family and will be greatly missed by all who knew him.
The service will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at First Baptist Church in Parsons. Burial will be in Memorial Lawn Cemetery in Parsons. The family will receive friends from 6 to 7 p.m. Friday at Carson-Wall Funeral Home.
Memorials are suggested to the USD 506 Foundation for the Phillips Family Scholarship and may be left at or sent to the funeral home, Box 942, Parsons, 67357.
Online condolences may be left at www.wallfuneralservices.com.