William T. “Bill” Phillips, 78, of Hayden, passed away at Kootenai Health on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, 2020. He was born on May 28, 1942, to Wesley and Rosa (Snider) Phillips, in Nampa, Idaho. He is now in the loving arms of his heavenly Father.
Growing up in Southern Idaho, Bill often spoke of the summers the family spent at the Lookout Tower on Shafer Butte, where his father was a lookout and fire observer for the Forest Service.
Bill attended schools in Nampa and graduated from Coeur d’Alene High School, being active in the school and the state bands. He graduated from North Idaho College and the University of Idaho, in Moscow, in 1971, after serving a tour in the Navy Seabees in Vietnam from 1966 to 1971. He was in the Naval Reserve, then transferred to the Washington Air Guard, serving a total of 22 years.
Bill had three children by a previous marriage: Michael, Teresa, and Amanda. They lived in a home he had built on the Rathdrum Prairie near Post Falls, where he enjoyed working in 4-H with the children. He was an EMT, volunteer fireman, skilled carpenter, home builder, and a master at many trades. Bill loved fishing, hunting, camping and sometimes accompanied his son, Michael, when he was gold-prospecting around Idaho.
His varied career included working as a surveyor with the Idaho Highway Transportation Department, Bunker Hill Mine, as chief maintenance engineer for the Hagadone Corporation, and teaching industrial arts at Lakeland High School. He worked at Lowe’s until his retirement.
Bill married Elaine Fanshier-Oswald on May 7, 1988, and they celebrated 32 years together. Upon marrying Elaine, he became the step-father to Jim, Bill and Guy Oswald.
Although living throughout Kootenai County, he and Elaine had found their farm on an acreage near Athol, where Bill pursued his love of raising horses. He was a captain in former Sheriff Rocky Watson's Mounted Posse, and worked with the Search and Rescue Unit. The Posse also appeared in local area parades and Bill was a proud participant.
He loved family and enjoyed researching family history through genealogy sessions with Hayden Library Programs. As a charter member of Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church in Rathdrum, he helped construct the new building and has served as head of the board of elders and chairman of the congregation.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents, Wesley and Rosa Phillips; grandparent; and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins. He is survived by his loving wife, Elaine; son, Michael (Donna) Phillips; daughter, Teresa (Morgan) Tanner and daughter, Amanda (Michael) Camin; stepsons, James (Dena) Oswald, William (Jessica) Oswald and Guy Oswald; sisters, Luree (Jack) Mego of Lebanon, Ore.; and sister, Deanne (Michael) O'Donnell of Philadelphia. Also surviving are grandchildren Nicholas and Kathryn Phillips, Tracy Tanner, Shelby (Zak) Welter, Hayden Tanner, Joshua and Hannah Marcoe, Lillian Camin, James (Kayla) Oswald Jr. and Kayla Jane Oswald; great-grandchildren Jenna and Taylor Tanner and Jocelyn Welter; an aun;, an uncle; and many cousins, nieces and nephews. Also surviving are mother-in-law, Ruth Fanshier; and sisters-in-law, Susan Fanshier, Julie Cole and Mary Fanshier-West.
A viewing will take place from 5-7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 20, 2020 at English Funeral Chapel, 1133 N. 4th Street Coeur d'Alene, ID. There will also be a private graveside service for the family and interment at the Coeur d’Alene Memorial Gardens.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to GlobalPartnersOnline.org at web link: https://globalpartnersonline.org/missionary/wm04-0372/. Checks may be mailed to Global Partners, PO Box, 50434, Indianapolis, IN 46250. Note the fund #wm04-0372 on the memo line. Donations may also be made to Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, Rathdrum.
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