Lester Ronald Phillips passed away surrounded by family on May 15 at Mercy Medical Regional Center in Durango, Colo. Lester was born to Franklin and Mary Jane Phillips on March 18, 1931, in Georgetown, N.Y. Lester was raised to have a strong work ethic and a strong belief in God. He served in the Army during the Korean War. After his service in the Army, for a short time, he was a home builder in upstate New York and then moved to Florida, managing campgrounds, building homes and raising his family. Lester moved to Pagosa Springs, Colo., in 1980. He had a love for the mountains and animals, so Colorado was the place for him to be. Lester was a wonderful man with an enormous heart. Lester never met a stranger and was kind to everyone he met. He believed you were born with one thing and died with one thing — your word. Without your word, you had nothing. He will be remembered for his million-dollar smile and positive attitude.
Lester was preceded by his wife of 55 years, Josephine Elizabeth Phillips. Lester is survived by son Jeffery D. Phillips, daughter-in-law Anita Phillips, daughter Deborah Phillips Archuleta, son-in-law Louis Archuleta; grandchildren Nicholas Bird and Alan (Courtney) Swinson; great-grandchildren Margaret Mave Swinson; his special cousin, Jessiemae Fuller; and numerous nieces and nephews.
This Saturday, May 26, will be the day we say goodbye to the greatest man that was ever in our lives, our dad, Lester Phillips. We will have a small service at St. James Church in Trujillo (at the first bridge on County Road 500) at 11 a.m., where anyone is welcome to say a few words to honor him. Immediately following, we will have a Celebration of Life at our home, (Phillips/Archuleta) 22210 County Road 500. If you cannot come to the church, feel free to join us at our home for a meal with a dish and a memory to share.
In lieu of flowers, you may send donations to a foundation that was close to Lester’s heart, an organization that provides prosthetics to individuals that have no resources: Limbs for Life Foundation, 9604 N. May Avenue, Oklahoma City, OK 73120 or limbsforlife.org.