David Michael Phillips Profile Photo
1937 David 2023

David Michael Phillips

December 22, 1937 — December 11, 2023

Missioin Viejo, California

David Phillips
Mission Viejo, California

    David Michael Phillips, born in Venice, Utah, on December 22, 1937, to Grace Cowley and Karl Phillips, passed away in Mission Viejo, California, on December 11, 2023. He is survived by his wife, Jeanette Lopez Phillips; and their children: Miette Legrand,  onique (Bill) Cunningham, Marc Phillips, and Megan (Erik) VonKoehe; grandchildren: Sara (Kevin) Sampson, Alison (John) Hrindo, Zachary (Amelia) Legrand, Colin Cunningham, Casey Cunningham, Kyle Cunningham, Cooper Cunningham, Paige (Michael)  Chiavegato, Cole Forrester, and Chloe VonKoehe; great-grandson: Reid Sampson; brothers: Jon (Judy) Phillips and Ken Phillips.      He was preceded in death by his parents; sister-in-law, Darlene Phillips; and son-in-law, Steve Legrand. 
    A man of unwavering integrity, boundless curiosity, and profound dedication to family, David’s journey through life was marked by an indomitable spirit, a healthy sense of humor, and ability to communicate his love through his actions. He never met a stranger and never missed an opportunity to experience or learn something new. 
    David was a descendent of the Wall family, pioneers who were the first settlers in Venice. His childhood was spent on the family farm and he shared many fond memories of his time there. His family’s move to Southern California in the 1952 marked the start of a new chapter in his life. A determined and hardworking man, Dave put himself through college and earned a BA in business from Cal State Long Beach. He spent the bulk of his career in the Southern California  trucking industry, excelling as a Peterbilt truck salesman where his sharp mind, sly wit, and absolute integrity contributed not only to his personal success, but also earned the esteem of his colleagues. He forged many friendships, in school, his time in the Army National Guard, and throughout his career, that he cherished and maintained until the end of his life.  
    In 1964, David married the love of his life, Jeanette Lopez. They settled in Mission Viejo, California and embarked on a journey that blessed them with four children. Together they filled their family’s lives with diverse experiences, the richness of which echoed Dave’s fearless spirit and their combined devotion to family. From nightly family dinners to outdoor adventures including water and snow skiing, boat trips to Catalina Island, Lake Powell and Lake Mead, to vacations to Europe and Mexico, and yearly family vacations to Yosemite, Arizona and of course the farm in Utah, they strived to broaden their family’s horizons and establish traditions that fostered cherished memories. 
    An adventurer at heart, Dave accomplished many feats that mirrored his “Carpe Diem” philosophy: obtaining his pilot’s license (he took Jeanette flying on one of their dates); hiking not only the Grand Canyon but also multiple “Fourteeners”, including Mts Whitney, Baldy,  Langley, San Gorgonio (3 times) and Mt Rainier (in his 60’s); riding his motorcycle from Mexico to Canada (twice) in the Three Flags Classic, and white water rafting on the American River.
    Paralleling all these accomplishments, were his two true lifelong passions. The first, road cycling, he continued well into his 70s, taking challenging 50-mile rides multiple times a week through Santiago Canyon (to get a donut and coffee), participating in Ride the Rockies, a Grand Canyon to Mexico bike tour, and even riding the road from Venice to Fish Lake. His son-in-law Bill can provide a colorful first-hand account to anyone interested. The second was spending time at the farm in Venice (which remains in the family) and working on his John Deere and Case tractors with his son and grandsons. The highlight of his summers for the past 20 or so years was entering his 1946 John Deere in the Richfield 4th of July parade, with grandson Cooper at the wheel for the last 12 of those years. His children remember him as the epitome of a family man with a profound commitment to being “present” in any moment. He would drop anything to help you and never treat you as a distraction or an inconvenience. When you were with him, whether he was helping you with homework, chaperoning school field trips, or simply chatting, you were the most important thing in the world. He always “had your back” and his steadfast support and absolute belief in your abilities provided the safety net you needed to go out into the world. We will miss his counsel and presence in every facet of our lives, from challenging situations to quiet morning coffees. 
    His grandchildren hold dear memories of his reassuring voice and presence, holiday hikes, his enthusiasm for all things mechanical (particularly if you were interested in learning how to change your own brakes), Saturday morning pancakes with bananas and peanut butter, his attendance at school, music, and sporting events, seeing him enjoy a cold beer at the end of a bike ride. 
    David found happiness in life’s simplest joys: the outdoors, tinkering in his garage, his cherished tractors, evenings on the back porch of the farm, family gatherings, and the companionship of his beloved dog, Charlie. His reassuring presence, cynical sense of humor, and  genuine curiosity about life will be deeply missed by all who knew him. 
    David suffered a heart attack in August and after months of struggling to recover, passed away at home in California with family and Charlie at his side. His final wish, rooted in his farm boy heart, was to be laid to rest in the Venice Cemetery with his feet facing west, allowing him to “sit up and see the farm” anytime he so desired. 
    A graveside service will be held at Venice Cemetery on January 5, 2024, at 1:00 p.m. followed by a light lunch and fellowship at the Venice Ward. A celebration of life will be held at his home in California on June 15, 2024. Funeral Directors: Magleby Mortuary, Richfield, Salina and Manti. Online guestbook at www.maglebymortuary.com 
    As we remember and honor David, let us cherish the memories of a life truly well-lived, full of love, adventure, and unwavering dedication to family.

    In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to your local animal shelter or rescue.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of David Michael Phillips, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Graveside Service

Friday, January 5, 2024

Starts at 1:00 pm (Mountain time)

Venice Cemetery

100 S St, UT 84701

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