Mark Thomas Phillips, 69, passed from this earth on Monday, January 22, 2018, of an apparent heart attack in Waco, Texas. Mark, a twin, was born, on August 10, 1948 to Thomas Jefferson Phillips and Phyllis Norine Walker Phillips in Atlantic, Cass County, Iowa. He moved with his family to Odessa, Texas, in 1951, where he graduated from Odessa High School in 1967.
On his 19th birthday he joined the U.S. Navy and completed his basic training at the Great Lakes Naval Station near Chicago, Illinois. He became a part of the Naval Air Force, and served on the USS Lexington. Then he served a combat tour in Vietnam, first as an aircraft mechanic and then as a gunner with the Helicopter Attack (Light) Squadron Three HA(L)-3 Seawolves in 1970-1971. Always a patriotic man, Mark was proud of his service in the U.S. Navy and was connected to his Vietnam brothers.
While stationed in Beeville, Texas, he met a young college student, Daralyn Hodges, the love of his life. They married on February 12, 1972 and together raised their four children, Shay Lynn, Kami Melissa, Derek Mark, and Tyler Garrett in Friendswood, Texas.
He was supportive of his children’s activities, whether over homework at the kitchen table or in sports as a coach on the sidelines. He was infinitely proud of their impressive academic and sports achievements.
Mark was “Uncle Mark” to several nieces and a nephew. Each time the family gathered, he was there with a big hug and lots of smiles and laughter. But perhaps his most cherished role of all was that of “Poppy” to his grandkids.
Mark began his career in a manufacturing plant using his Navy skills, then quickly found his niche in inventory control and, as it became computer based, so did he. In spite of never being fond of book learning, he attacked college curriculum to become an expert in the field of inventory management. From there, he became part of a rare breed, expanding into mainframe computers as well as training personnel on the IBM mainframes that took over the business world. In his last career move, he was the Information Technology Manager for Marathon Norco Aerospace in Waco, Texas dividing his time between Friendswood and Waco. He retired in 2017 but continued working with Marathon Norco as a consultant.
Mark is survived by his wife, Daralyn, of Pearland, and children, Shay Phillips of Houston; Kami Phillips Ranney (Brian) of Manvel; Derek Phillips (Tamara) of Friendswood; and Tyler Phillips of The Woodlands. He is also survived by grandchildren, Bryce, Sloane and Taylor Ranney and Jack and Julia Phillips. In addition, he is survived by his mother, Phyllis Hensley of Burnet, and twin sister Cheryl Kensing (Herb) of Willow Park.
He was preceded by a daughter, Dori, who died soon after birth; his brother, Kent Simmons; and his father, Thomas Phillips.
The family suggest gifts to honor Mark’s memory be made to Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Charitable Organization.
A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 27, 2018, at the Jeter Funeral Home, 311 N Friendswood Dr., Friendswood, TX 77546, (281) 992-7200. Interment will take place at the Houston National Cemetery at a later date.
Following the service, the family welcomes everyone to gather and share memories at 1405 Merriewood Drive, Friendswood, TX 77546.
Condolences may be sent to the Phillips family in care of Jeter Memorial Funeral Home at www.jeterfuneralhome.com.