Eldon Paul Phipps, 86, passed away peacefully while at Good Shepherd Hospice House in Lakeland on June 7, 2020. Currently spending eternity in Heaven with his beloved wife Patricia. He was born on April 21, 1934, in Hutchinson, Kansas to John Riley and Margarite Ann Phipps. Eldon was the youngest of 18 children. He married the love of his life, Patricia Phipps, on January 21, 1953. They just celebrated 67 precious years of marriage.
They began their life together in Hutchinson, KS. In the early summer of 1969, they moved the family to Lakeland, FL so Eldon could take a job with Rain Bird Sprinklers. They later moved to southern CA in 1980 as he took on the job of National Sales Manager for Rain Bird, later returning to Lakeland in 1983. He retired from Rain Bird in 1989 and started a manufacturer’s representative partnership, Brinkley & Phipps Associates. Eldon was a devout Catholic and member of St. John Neumann Catholic Church where he is also a 3rd Degree Knight in the Knights of Columbus.
His hobbies were fishing, golfing, gardening, and working in the yard. He also loved playing many types of card games with family and friends throughout the years. He traveled many days and miles during his working years to be able to earn the income needed to support his family of 8. Once living in Florida, he always had a boat. The family took annual vacations to Englewood, FL to spend quality time fishing and water skiing. During his travels, he had his eye on a 26ft sailboat in Jacksonville. He eventually purchased it and gave up smoking to pay for the slip fee in Ruskin, FL.
Eldon was a wonderful father and grandfather who showed his family love by his sacrifice and willingness to always lend a hand. He taught his children and grandchildren many great things through his words and actions. Whenever his grandchildren came from out of town to visit, he liked to take them boating and fishing. Fond memories were also made camping, boating, and tubing at Weeki Wachee Springs. He loved to talk to anybody and everyone. He was always making others laugh and his great sense of humor will be missed.
In addition to his parents and 16 siblings, he is preceded in death by his wife Patricia; their first-born daughter, Linda Ann who lost her battle with Leukemia just short of her 5th birthday; his grandson, Joshua Phipps at age 28.
He is survived by his sister, Louise Grady. Also by his 6 children; son, Dennis (Gail) Phipps of Lakeland, FL; son, Don (Mary) Phipps of Lenoir, NC; daughter, Teresa (Frank) Jara of Santa Clara, CA; daughter Tracy (Ruben) Aguilar of Vacaville, CA; son Darrin (Maggi) Phipps of DeFuniak Springs, FL; daughter Tammy (Darrin) Otten of Lakeland, FL. As well as his 16 grandchildren; John Phipps (April) of Wake Forest, NC; Crystal Aguilar, Hyrum, Utah; Jonathan Novak, Las Vegas, NV; Ty Phipps (Gabrielle), Lakeland, FL; Craig Otten, Sarasota, FL; Ruben Aguilar, Jr, Vacaville, CA; Devon Novak, Vacaville, CA; Matthew Phipps (Katie), Knoxville, TN; Dominic Aguilar, Vacaville, CA; Philip Otten, Lakeland, FL; Tyler Graman (Kyle), AFB Clovis, NM; Kelsey Van Patten (Brent), Oriskany, NY; Cristina Phipps, Las Vegas, NV: Israel Jara, Santa Clara, CA; Jasmine Jara, San Mateo, CA; Brady Otten, Lakeland, FL; 23 great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
Also, a special heartfelt thanks to the caregivers & nurses who helped care for our father, especially for the excellent care and support our father and family received while he spent his last days at the Good Shepherd Hospice House in Lakeland.
Funeral services will be on Monday, June 15th at Lakeland Funeral Home & Memorial Gardens. Visitation will be from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., followed by a prayer service at 11:00 a.m., followed by a graveside service.
The prayer service will be live streamed at 11:00 a.m. To view the livestream service go to: www.lakelandfuneralhome.com/tributes/Eldon-Phipps
A Catholic Mass in memory of Eldon and Patricia Phipps will be held at St. John Neumann Catholic Church on Patricia’s birthday, July 28th, 2020 at 11:00 am. A celebration of their Life to follow immediately after, in the parish hall.
Those who wish to remember Eldon in a special way may make gifts in his memory to: Leukemia & Lymphoma Society® (lls.org) and Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (alzfdn.org)
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Eldon P. Phipps, please visit our floral store.