Thomas J. Phillips

Thomas J. Phillips

1937 – 2023

IDA GROVE - Thomas James Phillips, 86, passed away Tuesday, June 13, 2023, at home with family at his side following a battle with pancreatic cancer.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m., on Tuesday, June 20, 2023, at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church of Ida Grove, Iowa. Father Richard D. Ball will officiate. Committal Services will follow in the Sacred Heart Catholic Cemetery of Ida Grove, Iowa, with Military Rites conducted by the McNamara-Moore Post No. 61 of the American Legion of Ida Grove, Iowa.

A Visitation will be held from 5-7 p.m., on Monday, June 19, 2023, at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church of Ida Grove, Iowa.

The Christensen-Van Houten Funeral Home of Ida Grove, Iowa, is in charge of the funeral arrangements. Condolences may be sent online at

Tom was born on Feb. 7, 1937, in Ida Grove, Iowa, to James and Alice Phillips. He was a lifetime resident of Ida County, graduating from Ida Grove High School in 1955. While still in high school, Tom joined the Iowa National Guard C. Company 2/133rd Infantry and later the Army Reserve in Ambulance Company 109th Medical Battalion. He was honorably discharged in 1961.

It was in 1953 that Tom met the love of his life, Edna Mae Bumann. In Sept. 1955, the two were married. They were blessed with 14 children.

In 1955, Tom began working for Co-op, Inc. in Ida Grove. He relocated his family to Holstein for a brief time where he worked for the Holstein Co-op. In 1964, Tom moved his growing family to a farm south of Ida Grove, where, for 28 years, he raised crops of corn and beans as well as cattle and hogs. He remained on that farm until the time of his death. In 1992, with his children mostly grown, Tom went to work for GOMACO Corp. of Ida Grove, where he was employed for 22 years until his retirement in 2014.

Tom’s Catholic faith was important to him, and he shared that faith by serving as a CCD teacher, Eucharistic Minister, usher, and lector at Sacred Heart Church for Father Dailey.

Tom and Edna were avid card-players and, for more than 60 years, belonged to a card club made up of some of their dearest friends. They also loved to travel and go to antique shows to buy and sell. Family was the most important thing, though, and you could often find the couple hosting large family gatherings or attending games and events for their grandchildren. Although Tom had a special love for his daughters, he was also very proud that with his nine boys, he had his own personal poker team that would play for hours on end.

He is survived by 9 sons and 5 daughters: Teresa (Dan) Koch of Council Bluffs, Iowa; Tim (Julie) Phillips of Ida Grove, Iowa; Shari (Scott) Simmons of Danbury, Iowa; Lori (Mark) Arkfeld of Defiance, Iowa; Tom Phillips Jr. of Ida Grove, Iowa; Alan (Lisa) Phillips of Leavenworth, Kansas; Curt (Kristal) Phillips of Holstein, Iowa; Christine (Keith) Krager of Ida Grove, Iowa; Patrick (Kriss) Phillips of Ida Grove, Iowa; Steve (Lori) Phillips of Ida Grove; Iowa; Mary (Doug) Clough of Ida Grove, Iowa; Craig (Stacy) Phillips of Sioux City, Iowa; John (Kristy) Phillips of North Liberty, Iowa; and Andrew (Nikki) Phillips of Brooklyn, Iowa; 43 grandchildren and 29 great-grandchildren; his sisters Virginia Mygatt of Watsonville, California and Sharon Reed of Mentone, Indiana; his beloved golden retriever Sadie; and numerous extended family members and friends.

Tom was preceded in death by his wife of 65 years, Edna Mae; his parents Jake and Alice; grandson Austin Krager; granddaughter Melissa Simmons; great-grandson Joseph Behrendsen; brothers-in-law Wayne Berridge, Ed Skinner, John Reed, Earl (Shirley) Bumann, Alvin Bumann, Edward Bumann, Ray Jr. Bumann, Dick Messer; and sisters-in-law Delores (Delayne) Linn and Mildred (Jim) Fleenor.

Services: June 20, Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Ida Grove

Burial: Sacred Heart Catholic Cemetery, Ida Grove

Christensen-Van Houten Funeral Home • Ida Grove • 712-364-2727


The Ida County Courier

Ida County Courier
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Ida Grove, Iowa 51445
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