Married Nov. 1, 1951, at the First Christian Church in Pendleton, Ore., the Phipps have spent most of their married life in Oregon, Washington, California and the Philippines and on various military assignments after Bob was recalled to active duty in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War.
During that time they had five children. With each transfer, they were involved in their local church, Boy Scouts of America and their children's activities.
After retiring from the Navy, Bob and Irene returned to Pendleton, where Bob taught part time at Blue Mountain Community College. Both were active in their home church and Irene was involved with the Christian women's club.
The Phipps spent many years in the local, district and council level of the Boy Scouts using their training to support and train other scouting leaders. Bob was district chair of scouting and awarded the District Award of Merit in 1980. The couple later was named Mr. and Mrs. Scouter of their district.
In 1983, they decided to move to Alaska to be near their grandchildren. Although they told family and friends it was a temporary, long vacation, Bob and Irene knew Alaska would become home.
Bob began teaching part time at Kenai Peninsula College in the electronics department.
Irene decided to pursue a college education. She completed an associate of arts degree at KPC and went on to get a bachelor's degree in social work at the University of Alaska Anchorage in 1991. Part of earning the degree required her to fly back and forth twice a week for three years. Irene worked at the Women's Resource and Crisis Center as a women's advocate and volunteer coordinator.
Although Bob is teaching part-time currently, Irene's focus is grandchildren and great-children.
Their daughter Dorothy McCune and son Russ Phipps live in Kenai, son Robert J. and daughter Pamela Evans live in Jacksonville, Fla., and son Bill lives in Pendleton.
The Phipps have 18 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.
The couple spends their summers at Poacher's Cove with friends, family and going fishing and spends the winters at their home in Kenai.
The Phipps celebrated their anniversary by attending the Don Ho candlelight dinner show at the Waikiki Beachcomber Hotel.
They attribute their successful marriage to their faith in God and in each other and claim it's never been dull.
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