Our beloved husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, George Stephen Phillips, returned home to his Heavenly Father, November 21, 2022. He passed peacefully at home surrounded by his loving family. George was born August 22, 1937, in Nephi, Utah to James Arnold and Vilda Anderson Phillips. He was the second of four children and grew up in a loving home with his three sisters.
George was raised on the family dairy farm where he developed a lifelong love for animals, the earth, and hard work. He grew up fitting and showing sheep across the intermountain region. He was an excellent showman and built one of the top herds in the state. He had an affinity for horses, starting with his pony Nancy, his best friend Red, and many others throughout his life. His beloved Belgian Haus will carry him to his final resting place. Throughout his life he was blessed with physical strength and as a young man, he hauled the majority of the hay produced in the Nephi valley. It’s often been said that George could outwork and outrun any around him.
George graduated from Juab High School in 1955 where he excelled in academics, music, and athletics. George attended Utah State University on a track scholarship as a sprinter. Later transferring to Brigham Young University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in history. After graduating from BYU, he joined the Army National Guard where he served his country and at the time, was the youngest commissioned officer in the Utah National Guard. George was a lifelong student with a love of learning. He returned to BYU completing both a Master’s of Education Administration and Specialist in Education Administration. Throughout his life, he admonished everyone around him to pursue further education.
He began his career in education, at South Summit High. While teaching there, he met his sweetheart Judy Ann Bisel who was home from BYU at a homecoming football game. After a year and half of courtship, they solemnized their union for time and all eternity in the Salt Lake Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in 1964. Their first home was in Escalante, Utah where George taught school and coached baseball, basketball, and started the school’s first track program. He left Escalante to continue his career at Roosevelt Jr. High School as a math teacher. He later became Principal there until the school board asked him to serve as the principal of Union High School. George was a progressive and innovative educator. He established the first outreach concurrent enrollment program in Utah by partnering with Utah State University at Union High School. He implemented vocational education programs, numerous clubs, service opportunities, and established pathways for success and involvement for all his students.
George’s love for farming would eventually bring him and his family back home to Nephi. George loved shiny cars and semi-trucks and often said, “everything that glitters is not gold; some of it is chrome too.” He proudly owned and operated his Kenworth semi-truck. After retiring from the road George and Judy Ann established a successful real estate business together for 29 years. He loved traveling the highways of America and exploring what he believed to be the most blessed and beautiful country in the world.
Their life’s work and partnership of 58 years resulted in five children, with whom George shared his love of country music. He loved to entertain and serve others through music, and it was one of his greatest joys to share this love with his sweetheart and his children. The Phillips Family has entertained for over 53 years with George proudly playing his signature blonde Gibson guitar and Judy Ann playing the keyboard by his side.
George loved his family dearly. Hand in hand with his sweetheart, he supported as many of the life events and milestones of his posterity as he could. Rather it was traveling across the country or as a fixture in the stands at Juab High School; he was so proud of their many accomplishments. He prioritized this right up to the end of his life - despite the challenges incurred through his battle with cancer.
George is survived by his wife of 58 years Judy Ann: five children, Debbie (James) Howarth of Carefree, AZ, James (Shurron) Phillips of Nephi, UT, Kecia (Justin) White of Nephi, UT, Donni Jo (Richard) Pay of Nephi, UT, and Stephen (Allison) Phillips of Warrensburg, MO; 13 grandchildren; 4 great-grandchildren; sisters Patricia (Sherman) Zeeman of Payson, UT, and Dana (Val) Kelson of Spanish Fork, UT; and numerous in-laws, nieces, nephews, and cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents James and Vilda Phillips, sister Iris Tolley, and in-laws DeLoy and Louise Bisel.
George lived his life by his creed: Be Fair, Be Firm, Be Fair. He was father figure to many, a mentor to more, and a friend to all. While he leaves a void that cannot be filled, George knew his Heavenly Father and believed in his plan which enables families to be together forever.
A viewing will be held on Thursday, December 1st from 5:00 to 8:00 pm at the Nephi 1, 2, 7 Meetinghouse, 222 South 100 East, Nephi, Utah.
Funeral services will be held at the Nephi Stake Center, 351 North 100 West, Nephi, Utah on Friday, December 2nd at 11:00 am with visitation from 9:00-10:30 prior to the service.
Interment will be at the Vine Bluff Cemetery, 1200 North 400 East, Nephi, UT.
Services can be viewed on Facebook Live or
via Zoom - Please click the link below to join the webinar:
The service will be livestreamed on the Anderson & Goff Mortuary Facebook Page at the following link:
(The livestream video will appear when the service starts.)
Donations may be given to:
Tough Enough To Wear Pink account at Cache Valley Bank
(Donations can be given in person at the bank, or the QR code can be scanned on this website from the Tribute Wall tab.)