Stowe Reporter - 9:52 am Fri Jan 13th, 2017
Russell G. "Russ" Phipps, 87, died peacefully at his home in Stowe on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2017. He was born in Melrose Park, Ill., April 3, 1929, son of Russell G. and Hannah J. Phipps.
He was proud of his first job, at a candy store, because in less than a year he was entrusted with opening and closing the store at age 14.
In 1947, he graduated from Proviso High School, where he played football and baseball, and went on to the University of Illinois.
Russ dropped out of college to join the Army, fought and was wounded as a rifleman in the Korean War, and after an honorable discharge, returned to and graduated from the University of Illinois. He went on to earn a master's degree in international relations from the University of Minnesota and soon joined
the U.S. Department of State as foreign service officer, with an initial assignment in Washington, D.C.
In Washington, Russ fell in love with Leila "Lee" J. Hutchins, and after a whirlwind courtship they married in 1963 and remained happily so until her passing in 2012. Together they raised three children while serving at U.S. Embassies in Montevideo, Bonn, Moscow, Jakarta and Vienna, as well as at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations in New York City.
Russ retired from the Foreign Service in 1989 and a year later moved with Lee to Vermont, where they built their dream home and resided until their respective deaths.
Russ had a big heart and was a wonderful family man and father. He had a special fondness for dogs and their antics. Russ was a passionate observer of politics and enjoyed trading barbed correspondence with friends and family.
He enjoyed games of intrigue, chance and challenge, especially poker. He loved genealogy, tracing his extended family roots as far back as the 14th century.
Russ also devotedly followed the Washington Redskins football team; his family could chart his current mood based on the outcome of the latest Redskins game.
Survivors include his children, Anne Phipps of New Durham, N.H., Eric Phipps and wife Temr, and their children John and Robert of San Diego, and Matthew Phipps of Stowe; nephews William Lauth and Robert Lauth; and niece Jain Lauth Jonke.
His wife, Leila, died earlier, as did a sister, Barbara Lauth.
A memorial service will be Jan. 21 at 1 p.m. at Stowe Community Church, 137 Main St. The family will host a reception at home after the service.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in memory of Russ may be made to North Country Animal League, 16 Mountain View Meadows, Morrisville, VT 05661.
Faith Funeral Home is assisting the family. To send online condolences: faithfh.net.
Stowe, VT 05672 (Set as Local)