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Obituary - Roger Philippi


September 13, 2019

Roger Philippi

Roger Philippi of Havre, Montana, 86, passed away at the Riverside Health Care Center in Missoula of natural causes Nov. 17, 2018, a week before his 87th birthday.

Roger was born Nov. 25, 1931, at Kennedy Deaconess Hospital in Havre, the fifth of eight children to Fred and Roselia (Neumiller) Philippi, both originally from Odessa, Russia. When he was young, the family farmed near Kremlin, MT, later moving to Havre.

He attended schools in Havre until graduating from high school, when Roger enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. He was stationed in Alaska during the Korean conflict and was honorably discharged in 1953 after his tour of duty.

After a short bout of travel, Roger returned to Havre, where he lived until shortly before he died in Missoula.

Roger worked for the Havre Daily News for most of his adult life, starting as type setter and proofreader. He moved to Hill County Printing Co., operating the linotype for several years and going to school in Colorado to learn color separation. Later, he returned to The Havre Daily News, retiring from there in his 70s. Roger worked in newspaper printing from setting type by hand in the '50s through papers being produced on computers.

Sept. 30, 1967, he married his love, Phyllis McGinnity Gutridge, in Havre. They had a wonderful life together in their Highland Park home until she died in February of 1997.

Roger later married Joice Unruh for a few years until they were divorced in 2009.

In his younger years, Roger was an avid bowler and he enjoyed go-fast cars! He also refurbished an old Model A, even adding a rumble seat. Later, Roger loved woodworking projects that involved extreme attention to detail, gifting many of these clever creations to family and friends. His ingenuity was evident in every corner of his house, yard, and driveway. He and Phyllis were also very proud of their extensive organic vegetable garden.

Roger was a happy, intelligent, kindly man who put his heart and soul into his family. He kept his great sense of humor through a long life and enjoyed making people laugh, often with his play on words, usually accompanied by a give-away infectious grin he was unable to contain. Roger was always thereto help a friend with anything they might need. Losing Phyllis was the deepest pain in his life and he was prepared to leave this earth at the end of his long life. His passing has left a deep hole in our lives.

He was preceded in death by parents, Fred and Roselia Philippi; brother Leo Philippi, sisters Anne Holten

and Erna Hailey, and Roger's beloved wife Phyllis.

Roger is survived by his children with Phyllis, Rob Philippi and stepdaughter Sherri Lee; brothers Donald Philippi and Lester Philippi, sisters Alvera Wickstrom and Evelyn Enochson, as well as many loved cousins, nieces, nephews, grands and dear friends.

His ashes will be interred next to Phyllis at the Highland Park Cemetery in Havre. No services are planned. Rob and Sherri thank Partners In Home Care in Missoula for their loving care of Roger these past few years.

If you wish to contribute in Roger Philippi's name, please consider a hospice of your choice.


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