Obituary: Wendell Thomas Phillips

Wendell Thomas Phillips, 80, of Sturgeon Bay, died late Saturday night, May 28, 2016 at ThedaCare Regional Medical Center in Neenah, following a brief illness.

He was born March 24, 1936 in Sturgeon Bay, the son of Leonard and Rita Ray (Madden) Phillips. Wendell attended school in Sturgeon Bay and then worked as the third generation with his dad (2nd Gen) in the family well drilling business. He enlisted in the United States Navy in 1953 and served for four years, stationed in the Philippines. Upon his honorable discharge from the service, he sailed with the Navy Corps of Engineers. Wendell returned home to continue well-drilling until the 1970s. He later worked for PBI and Bay Ship in Sturgeon Bay and eventually for Selvick Marine Towing, retiring as a Tug Boat Captain.

As an avid outdoorsman, he loved hunting, fishing, and trapping, and his dogs were also with him to help. Wendell truly enjoyed his years of retirement and could be found feeding his chickens, tending to his garden and picking asparagus. Above all, he loved his family, especially his grandchildren.

Wendell is survived by his two sons, Leonard of Casco, Frank (Mary Beth “Mimi”) of Sturgeon Bay; daughter, Vickey (Tom) Vanderhoof of Sturgeon Bay; six grandchildren, Elijah, Nathan, and Isaiah Phillips, Donald Raine IV, Tom and Scott Vanderhoof; sister, Connie Rockwell; and brother-in-law, Lee Burnette; both of Sturgeon Bay.

He was preceded in death by his parents; grandson, Curt Phillips, daughter-in-law, Shado Phillips; four sisters, Nancy (Lee) Burnette, Mary Ellen (Glenn) Bagnall, Margaret (Mike) Erskin, Sally (Jim) Gannon; and brother-in-law, Roger Rockwell.

A memorial service with military honors by the United States Navy and the Weber-Tess AMVETS Post 51 will be held at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday June 12, 2016 at Huehns Funeral Home in Sturgeon Bay with Fr. Bob Stegmann officiating. Burial will be in Bayside Cemetery at a later date.

Visitation for family and friends will be held from 1:00 p.m. until the time of service on Sunday June 12, 2016 at Huehns Funeral Home.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made given for his family.

Condolences and guestbook signing may be offered at

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