Gary Wayne Phipps the son of Johnnie and Vanila (Morphis) Phipps was born March 7, 1947 in Cove, Arkansas. Gary departed this life on February 14, 2019 in Tahlequah, Oklahoma at the age of 71 years, 11 months and 7 days.
Gary was a very loving man who was dedicated to the Lord, his family and to anything that he was a part. He graduated from Westville High School where he played football and was a member of the Future Farmers of America where he continued his love for farming.
After high school graduation, he attended Northeastern State College which then became Northeastern State University. He graduated with a Master's Degree in Education. He majored in Industrial Arts and Biology. His dedication showed in everything that he did. He was a devoted fan and hadn't missed an NSU home football game in over 45 years. Gary was also a brother of the Phi Lamda Chi fraternity while attending NSU.
Gary went on to teach with the Salina Public School System where he was awarded Teacher of the Year, and was President of the Salina Education Association. He also served as an Adjunct Professor at Northeastern teaching Arts u0026 Crafts and Silversmithing. Gary was also very gifted as a goldsmith and a welder. He enjoyed farming, brushhogging, working with cattle and gardening.
He enjoyed camping especially at the Pawnee Indian Veteran's Homecoming Powwow. He and his wife had not missed attending a Veteran's Powwow in 48 years. Gary had a great love for the Native American culture as his wife is of Pawnee and Cherokee heritage. He made many friends and learned much about the Pawnee people during years of gathering and celebrating the Veteran's Homecoming.
He was devoted to his church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and to his family as well. His grandson was the apple of his eye. Gary touched many lives over the years and will be dearly missed by all who knew and loved him.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his daughter Jesica Phipps; and his sister Nila "Sis" Phipps.
He is survived by a loving family which includes his wife of over 49 years, Gene Phipps of the home; his son Jonathan Levi Phipps and wife Karma of Westville; his daughter Valerie Walters of Wagoner; his sister Debra Linn and husband Bill of Colcord; and his grandson Tristyn Phipps of Westville. He leaves several nieces, nephews, friends and loved ones.
Thanks for all the memories even though I was a smart guy but you taught life's lessons
Till we meet again soon
David TurnerVinita, OK
It was my privilege to teach and be a class sponsor with Mr. Phipps for 11 years. He, I, and Mr. Proctor became very close and enjoyed our jobs at Salina High School very much. He was a great teacher with his own style of teaching but I always saw how much he loved his students. I keep very fond memories of my time teaching with him. Gary, you can hang your shop apron up for the last time. Job well done.
Dale EisenhauerGrove, OK
Was saddened to hear the news of your passing. You were a wonderful person and an awesome teacher. You touched mine and many others lives with your kind heart & happy soul. Thank you for the memories
Dina Giles(Arthurs)Salina, OK
You were a good and patient teacher, especially where I was concerned you will not be forgotten. Thank you.
Ricky StumpSalina, OK
Mr. Phipps was a teacher of mine at Salina. He taught me many different subjects in the arts and crafts field. I've used that teaching with my children and youth groups that I have worked with. Not only was he an education teacher but also a friend to his students. He touched many of his former students and I am grateful to be one of them. May he rest in peace,
Debbie King Zumsteinpryor, OK
Mr. Phipps was my favorite teacher at Salina. I signed up for his crafts class my sophomore year thinking it would be an easy class, wrong!! I not only learned things like leather tooling, silver soldering, and jewelry making but in his class he also taught life lessons. The one thing that has always stuck with me is that in his class you were only allowed 3 absences in a semester even though the school allowed over twice that amount. He always said if this class was your job and you missed more than 3 days you wouldn’t be employed for long. I know some people thought he was to hard and strict and I would agree with those things but it didn’t stop me from taking his class for 3 years. I regret not letting him know what a Great Man I thought he was and an incredible influence on my life. Thanks Mr. Phipps
Frankie CoxSalina, OK
Rest in Peace Mr Phipps !
Never a dull moment with you at that chalkboard for sure! You made learning fun in many ways! Such great memories from my years in your classroom!
Prayers for each of you !
Brianna Ball - RoleySalina, OK
So sorry to hear of Mr. Phipps passing. He was my favorite teacher at Salina high school. Prayers for the family. ❤️
Jessie McCarterKenwood, OK
Mr. Phipps was one of my favorite teachers in high school and later cillege. I took his class all four years in high school because I enjoyed his class's so much. He made me laugh every day and cared for his students. He taught me so much and I will always remember him and wish I could've visited with him once more. Until I see you again Mr Phipps...thank you for educating me and giving me such good memories.
Jamie Bark (ketcher)Salina, OK
My wonderful cousin. You were like a brother as we were growing up. I'll see you.again.
David MorphisSand Springs, OK