Leroy Joe Phipps, 66, passed away on Saturday, Aug. 4, 2012, at his cabin on Pathaha Creek, south of Pomeroy.
Leroy was born Nov. 1, 1945 in Yakima to Dale Leroy and Ellinor (Knowlton) Phipps.
He attended schools in Sunnyside and graduated in 1964.
He served in the U.S. Army from 1965 through 1967. After returning from the Army, he attended Yakima Valley College and studied architecture.
In 1968 on the Fourth of July, he met his future wife, April Susan Holmes in Prosser. They were married on November of 1968. To this marriage, three children were welcomed; Mark Leroy, Kimberly Ann and Erica Leigh.
He began his working life as a farm hand for the Berk Brothers in Sunnyside, and then had his own custom harvest business. In the fall of 1972 he began working for Bar-S Feedlot in Sunnyside that eventually became Monson Feedlot, working as a millwright. In 1978 he started working for Lundren and McGregor Feedlot in Wallula, and moved the family to Touchet in 1979. He worked for Acme Materials and Construction, which later became Inland Asphalt, from 1995 to his retirement at the end of 2005. It was at that time he began to fulfill his own dreams.
Leroy learned to love the outdoors from his father Dale and grandfather Horace and realized his dream of building a log cabin from scratch. He painstakingly designed and built it from the ground up for his family and future generations to enjoy. He had a wide range of interests. He was a voracious reader, loved, loved building HO trains, working on his 1955 Ford, motorcycle racing, camping with his family in Montana and cooking Sunday dinners for his entire family. He would spend countless hours being led around by the finger and doing whatever they wanted him to do, no matter how worn out he felt. He always thought it was more important for him to spend time with them than money on them.
He is survived by his loving wife of 43 years, April Susan Phipps; his children, Mark Leroy (Rayna), Kimberly Ann (Otis) Garbe and Erica Leigh (Tim) Richartz; his beloved grandchildren, Alexa Rea Garbe, Schae Leigh Richartz, Dominique Jane Dickinson, Ty Allan Garbe, Taylor Ann Garbe, Payton Darlene Richartz, Mark Leroy Phipps II, Arthur Allen Phipps and Tegon Otis Garbe; his sisters, Cheryl (Gary) Pira of Sunnyside, Connie (Ray) Cox of Yakima and baby sister, April (Gary) Levins of Issaquah; and numerous nieces and nephews.
A memorial service was held today, Aug. 10, 2012, in Walla Walla.