Lowell Edward Philips was born Nov. 12, 1920, on a farm near Merrill, the son of Arthur and Frances (Friske) Philips. He attended country school near his home and graduated from Liberty Consolidated School. He enlisted in the United States Navy in October 1942. He served his country aboard the U.S.S. Mattaponi during World War II. He was honorably discharged in December 1946.
Upon returning to the area, he worked as a truck driver for a brief time. He was united in marriage to Norma Tullis on Dec. 17, 1949, in Sioux City. The couple farmed near Merrill. After leaving the farm, Lowell and Norma moved to Merrill.
Lowell worked for various businesses in Merrill, including the grocery store for five years. In 1962, he went to work as a custodian at Kissinger Elementary School in Merrill. He retired after 23 years of service.
Lowell was a longtime member of Merrill United Methodist Church. He was a member of the Olson-Halweg American Legion Post 125 in Merrill for more than 63 years. He was also a member of the Merrill Lions Club for many years.
Lowell enjoyed woodworking, refinishing furniture and chair caning. He loved looking at Christmas lights and watching birds. For many years, he and Norma attended reunions with his former shipmates and traveed.
Lowell will be remembered for always being there to lend a hand to family, friends and neighbors. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.
Survivors include his wife of nearly 60 years, Norma of Merrill; a son, Derald Philips and his wife Jane of Le Mars; a grandson, T.J. Philips of Sioux Falls, S.D.; a sister, Delores Kovarna of Merrill; two sisters-in-law, Verjean Luense and her husband Ben of Springfield, Minn., and Verda Frahm of Mapleton; a brother-in-law, Beryl Tullis of Ottowa, Ill.; a special nephew on his side, Randy Kovarna and his wife Sue of Merrill; and many other nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; three brothers-in-law: Bob Kovarna, Lowell Tullis, and Bob Frahm; and a sister-in-law: Madaline Tullis.
Funeral services will be 11 a.m. Friday at Merrill United Methodist Church in Merrill. The Rev. Ted Stowers will officiate. Burial, with military rites conducted by the Olson-Halweg American Legion Post 125 will be at Hillside Cemetery in Merrill. Visitation with the family present will be after 4 p.m. Thursday with a prayer service at 7 p.m., all at Carlsen Funeral Home in Le Mars. Visitation will resume one hour prior to the service on Friday at the church.
Memorials may be made in Lowell's name to the Merrill Ambulance, Olson-Halweg American Legion Post 125, or to a charity of your choice.
Expressions of sympathy may be extended to the family through www.carlsenfuneralhome.com.