Benjamin (Ben) James Phillips, 89, of rural Harmony, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, July 15, 2020 at his home.
Ben was born on May 20, 1931 to James and Mary (Snyder) Phillips in Spillville, Iowa. He graduated from Cresco High School in 1950. In 1952 Ben was drafted to the United States Marines doing his Basic Training in San Diego, California. He then spent the next 15 months in Korea holding various communication positions. Cpl. Benjamin Phillips was honorably discharged on February 12, 1954. He was the recipient of a National Defense Service medal and a United National Service medal.
On January 2, 1956, Ben was united in marriage to Geraldine Neubauer, "the love of his life," in Rochester, Minnesota. They started their life together with a small farm in rural Cresco. In 1965 they moved to “his favorite place on this earth” his beloved farm near Granger. It was that year he received an award for “Outstanding Young Farmer” in Howard County. He remained actively involved in farming his entire life. The love for his farm and the land only took second place to the love for his family.
Ben was a friend to all and will be remembered for his big smile and genuine kindness. He enjoyed family gatherings, helping his Amish neighbors, visiting with friends, playing cards, and John Deere tractors. Ben was a member of the Notre Dame Catholic Church, Cresco American Legion and VFW Post 4561. He also served on the Granger Creamery Board for 30+ years.
Ben is survived by his wife, Geraldine; his four children, Betty Ehler of Canton, Bob (Susan) Phillips of rural Harmony; Sandy (Roger) Marzolf of Preston, and Chuck (Ellen) Phillips of Faribault; 12 grandchildren and 22 great grandchildren. He is also survived by his brother, Barton (Janice) Phillips; brother-in-law, Lloyd Neubauer; several nieces & nephews and countless friends.
He is preceded in death by his parents; a great grandson, Carter Loren Phillips; sister, Beatrice (Joe) Kruse; brother, Bernerd Phillips; and brothers & sisters-in law, Virgil & Berneita Neubauer and Joe & Ann Neubauer.
A Private Family Mass of Christian Burial will be held at the Notre Dame Catholic Church in Cresco, with Fr. Jacob Rouse officiating. Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery, Cresco. Public visitation will take place on Wednesday, July 22, 2020, from 5:00 – 7:00 P.M. at the Hindt-Hudek Funeral Home in Cresco. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, masks are required and social distancing will be practiced.
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