Larry Alfred Philp, our sweet Dad, Grandad, Uncle, and friend, passed away peacefully at his home in Buckeye, Arizona, the evening of January 6th, 2021. Larry was 90 years old.
Larry was born in Claypool, Arizona on December 14th, 1930 to Fidelia (Rose) and Alfred Philp. He grew up in Miami, Arizona and lived a happy childhood full of work, play, friends, and family. The Philp family worked together to face the trials of the Great Depression. But Larry’s memories of his childhood only included the blessings of frugal living, hard work, and making the best of what you’ve got. Many of Larry’s childhood friends remained a part of his life to the end.
Larry graduated from Miami High School and Arizona State University. He met and married Betty Spears and had his first child, Dana Philp. Sadly, the marriage was short lived.
When our country called, Larry immediately responded by joining the US Army 96th Field Artillery Battalion. Larry served as a 1st Lieutenant in the Korean War from 1950 to 1953 and in the Army Reserves until 1960. Larry was awarded a Purple Heart during his service in Korea. His staunch patriotism was reflected in his military service and continued throughout his life. Larry Philp loved his country and honored those who sacrificed for it.
Upon returning to Arizona, Larry began work at the Miami Copper Company. He loved to spend time with his daughter Dana. Larry often took Dana camping, fishing, target shooting, boating and water skiing. As an early member of the Cobre Valley Country Club, Dad and Dana would often swim and play at the pool. He taught Dana to love and respect nature and the outdoors.
Larry met Diane Pace at a Ward pot luck dinner. They began dating and they were married June 22nd,1963 in the Mesa, Arizona Temple. They moved to Phoenix where Larry worked at Goodyear Aerospace and Diane taught school at Cortez High School. Eventually, they purchased a new home in the growing suburb of Glendale. They loved their new Phoenix West Stake and 17th Ward and fit right in with the newly married couples and growing families in the ward.
After five years and many prayers, Larry and Diane welcomed their daughter, Diana, in 1968. Diana was full of energy and talked and asked questions non-stop. Larry patiently endured and did his best to keep up with all of her talking, talking, talking. As the school years went by, Larry, the engineering and numbers whiz, was tasked with teaching Diana how to do math. Diana was not a numbers whiz and these endless homework sessions at the dining room table were often accompanied by much weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth! However, as adults, Diana and Larry were very close and shared a love for America, Mexican food, and Frank Sinatra. Larry lived with Diana and her family for the last few years of his life and she was honored and grateful to have been his caregiver.
In 1970, Larry accepted a position with Motorola in Scottsdale. For many years, he drove his 1955 GMC pickup truck to work and back, often having to improvise to keep it ‘functioning’. At Motorola, Larry used his sharp analytical mind and a keen attention to technical detail. He was known for catching small calculation errors that would have caused major problems. He excelled at Motorola and proved to be a very valuable employee.
In 1975, at age 45, Larry (and Diane) had their son Michael. Larry shared his love of sports, mechanics, aircraft, and the outdoors with Michael. Despite the age gap, they shared a special relationship and were not only father and son, but best of friends.
Larry was a devoted disciple of Jesus Christ. He studied the scriptures and did his best to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He served tirelessly in many callings within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He served as a Bishop, and in Bishoprics, as a homeless support specialist, a missionary, a Temple worker, a High Councilor, and Stake Clerk among many other callings. However, he was and always will be, known for his work with the young men in the boy-scouts. Larry was the scoutmaster. He devoted himself to teaching young men what it means to be a man through love, sacrifice, honor, and dependability. Larry truly lived the scout oath: “On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; to help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.” Today many of his former scouts have families of their own and continue to pass these values on to the next generation of young men and women.
Larry retired from Motorola in 1995. This allowed him to focus more on family history, church service, and self improvement. He joined Michael in classes at Glendale Community College to continue his education purely for the love of learning.
In 2001, Larry and Diane moved from their home in Glendale to Avondale. They immediately made many dear friends and began again to love and serve those around them.
In 2004, Larry and Diane served a full time mission at the family history center at Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah. Larry was fully engaged in family history research and loved to help people find records of their loved ones. In addition, he found hundreds of records pertaining to members of his own family. He was always ready to show off his family tree and family history research to anyone who would listen.
In 2018, when circumstances required, Larry and Diane moved to Buckeye to live with Diana. Diana and her family loved and cared for Larry for the rest of his life. Diane passed away in November of 2019. Larry was only apart from his sweetheart for a year before reuniting with her, never again to be separated.
Larry will be remembered for doing things his way. He marched to the beat of his own drummer and was unique in every sense of the word. From the way he spoke, to the way he stood, to the way he ate his french fries, Dad was an original. We could literally fill a book full of the funny things Dad did and said. He was the model of stoic consistency for our family. He was our rock. He loved, he served, he worked, he laughed, and he prayed.
Larry was preceded in death by his parents Fidelia and Alfred, his sister Nancy (Seth) and his beloved wife Diane. He is survived by his three children Dana Philp (Jan), Diana Weight (Ryan), and Michael Philp (JodiAnn) as well as his three grandchildren Pace Weight, and Bailey and Maddie Philp.
Services will be held graveside on Tuesday January 19th at 11:00am at the Louis B. Hazelton Memorial Cemetery (23100 W. Broadway Rd. Buckeye, AZ). The service will also be live streamed on Facebook Live (https://www.facebook.com/diana.weight)
We will always love you Daddy.
“Well done thou good and faithful servant”