Russ Phillips, 53, of Winner, SD passed away on Wednesday, November 20th, 2019 at his home in Winner, SD. Mass of Christian burial was held on Monday, November 25th, 2019 at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Winner, SD. Burial followed at the Winner City Cemetery in Winner, SD.
A visitation was held on Sunday, November 24th, 2019 at the Immaculate Conception Catholic church in Winner, SD with a Vigil service.
Russ Phillips took his final checkered flag on November 20th 2019 after a four-month hard fought battle with cancer. Russ will be remembered for his convincingly quick wit, never-ending humor and pranks. His generous and giant heart was felt by all.
Russell Todd entered the world on December 7th 1965 in Winner, SD. Proud parents Dennis (Denny) and Carol (McIntosh) Phillips decided Russ was so perfect they need not have anymore. He was baptized in April of 1966 at Trinity Lutheran Church. Russ graduated from Winner High School in 1984 and went on to graduate from the National School of Business in Rapid City, SD where he received a degree in business in 1986. In October 2019 Russ became a member of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Winner, SD.
Hard work was a virtue for Russ and he started working at a young age. From the time he could walk he worked with his dad at the Car Care Center. He also worked at the Phillips 66 station with Arlyn (Harold) and Brenda Klundt. This provided him the opportunity to perfect his prank playing. Next, he became the chip man delivering chips for Old Dutch. Along his route he met the love of his life, Lorna.
They were married on May 21st, 1994. They were blessed with two children Megan Marie and Cole Hunter. Following his chip days, he worked for a short while at the Soil Conservation, before finding his perfect fit and second family. Russ started at the Tripp County Water User District as a Water Operator in 1995. He was promoted to Manager in 2006 and was awarded Manager of the Year in 2017. He served in this position until his final day.
The two loves of his life were his family and his race cars. It depended on the day which one got first place. Russ held numerous wins on South Dakota racetracks over his 25 years of racing and passed on the love of racing to his son Cole. During these years he met many lifelong friends and created many memories and stories that he cherished till the end.
Russ cherished a simple life filled with family, friends, racing, plenty of hot tub time, and of course Bud Light. Many are left to carry on his stories including loving wife Lorna, children Megan (Mike) Cahoy, Cole (Taylor) Phillips, granddaughter Maycee Cahoy, a special “second “ son Austin Klundt (Hailey, Evan, & Sylvia), parents Denny and Carol Phillips, his in-laws Tom and Nancy Esterling, brother-in-law Matt (Christie, Andrew, & Charlie). Many aunts, uncles, and cousins. The Tripp County Water User District family, employees, and Board of Directors & their families. His extended racing family and many friends.
Meeting him in heaven will be his paternal grandparents Ralph and Elsie Phillips, his maternal grandparents Riley and Rose McIntosh, great aunt and uncle James and Clara Musilek, Lorna’s grandparents Erwin and LaVerna Esterling, Wayland and Kess Dempster.