The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Death Notices

November 16, 2013

Edwin L Phillips

Published 11-16-13

ENID, OK — Retired Lt. Col. Edwin L Phillips passed away November 13, 2013, in Wellington, Kansas, at the age of 86.

Ed, as he was known to most, was born in Oak Park, Illinois, June 23, 1927, to John and Annette Phillips.   

Ed attended a military grammar school and went on to earn a degree in Pre-Law at the University of Houston. He then was commissioned as an officer in the United States Air Force and fulfilled his lifelong dream of becoming an Air Force pilot. He became one of the first pilots to fly the B45 Tornado – the first jet bomber of the Air Force. During his career he had grand adventures. One adventure was to eject over the English Channel when one of the engines malfunctioned.  

Ed met and married his wife, Marjorie June Moore, while attending University of Houston. They had four children together: Ken, Charles, Annette and Michelle. As an Air Force family they traveled the world. From Texas to Florida, then on to England for three years. He served three years in Indianapolis, teaching ground school at Butler University, and four years in Japan. He spent two three-year tours at Laredo Air Force Base, Texas, in Pilot Training Command, teaching countless young lieutenants to fly. He served a term in Vietnam. He spent a short tour in Kansas City and then two three-year tours at Hickam AFB in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Ed dearly loved to fly and flew many different aircraft over the span of his career.  

He retired in San Antonio, Texas, and continued to fly with the Kelly AFB flight club. He taught young enthusiasts to fly … even into the new millennium, until health problems grounded him.  

Ed relocated to the Enid, Oklahoma, area in 2010 after the death of his Margie. He wanted to be near his grandchildren and children, whom he enjoyed immensely. He was very proud of all of them. His youngest granddaughter is following in his footsteps. Angelica currently is a senior at the United States Air Force Academy, on track to be a pilot.

Ed is survived by Kenneth and Elsa Phillips of San Antonio, Texas, Charles and Grace Phillips of San Antonio, Texas, Annette Leap and Greg Conrady of Caldwell Kansas and Michelle Phillips of Austin Texas; grandchildren, Wendi Little and husband Yancey of Nixa, Missouri, Molly Athey and husband Scott of Enid, Oklahoma, Casey Leap of Wichita Kansas, and Angelica Phillips of San Antonio, Texas; great-grandchildren, Cade and Kannon Little of Nixa, Missouri, and Tanner and Anna-Beth Athey of Enid, Oklahoma.

Up to the last few months of his life he would look to the sky in Enid to see the Vance AFB training planes and remark “Lucky Bastards!”

He will be missed by all.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made at Schaeffer Mortuary, Caldwell, Kansas, to Alzheimer’s Association.

Memorial services will be November 30, 2013, at St. Martins Catholic Church, Caldwell, Kansas. Rosary will be 2:15 p.m., with Mass at 3, with Fr. Dwight Birket officiating.

To share a memory or leave a condolence, please visit

Arrangements by Schaeffer Mortuary, 6 N. Main, Caldwell, Kansas.

(Submitted by family)

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