J. VonBergen Phillips
Longtime Kenai resident J. VonBergen Phillips died Saturday, Sept. 11, 2004, at home in Kenai. He was 77.
A memorial service celebrating his life will be held at 2 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 25, at the Kenai Senior Citizens Center. The family invites those who wish to join them on Sunday, Sept. 26, for a hike to the Russian River Falls to give Mr. Phillips' ashes to the Kenai National Moose Range.
Mr. Phillips was born July 7, 1927, in Albion, Neb. In 1945, he graduated from Albion High School, but even before graduation, he joined the Navy. After his Navy service, he joined the National Guard and served for more than 15 years.
Mr. Phillips graduated with a bachelor of science degree from Wayne State University and later received his master's in education from Highlands University in New Mexico. He began his lifelong teaching career in McLean, Neb., continuing in Springer and Santa Rosa, N.M., and finishing in Kenai, where he taught for 22 years.
In June of 1956, he married Sheila Dangberg of McLean. They lived in Santa Rosa for two years, then moved to Alaska in 1958. They made Kenai their home for the last 45 years.
"Von loved Alaska for its greatness, openness, beauty and the generosity of its people. He was the first to give others a helping hand. During the course of his life, he was active in Boy Scouts, N.E.A., Kenai Methodist Church and Kenai Performers. He enjoyed canoeing, backpacking, hunting, skiing, gardening, reading, playing guitar, cards (mostly bridge) and performing in many plays. He spent many hours teaching, playing and just being with his children and grandchildren," his family said.
Mr. Phillips is survived by his wife, Sheila; son and daughter-in-law, Lance and Valarie of Anchorage; son, Craig of Homer; daughter and son-in-law, Shawn and Ted Haskin of Kenai; grandchildren, Tara Slaughter and Shannon Haskin, both of Kenai, Travis Haskin of Pocatello, Idaho, Jordan Elson of Anchorage, Nalana, Troy and Justin Phillips of Anchorage and Skylar Paul of Homer; great-grandson, Trevor Slaughter of Kenai; sister, Virginia Duback of Ocean Park, Wash.; and numerous others who called him "Grandpa Von."
Mr. Phillips made donations to many different charities, so in lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the charity of your choice. The American Boy Scouts was his favorite.
Arrangements were made by Peninsula Memorial Chapel in Kenai.
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