Theodore "Ted" M. Phillips 1926 - 2021

Theodore “Ted” M. Phillips, one of two girls and two boys, was born March 14, 1926, in Long Beach, California. His great-grandparents were members of wagon trains which came across the Oregon Trail to California in 1845 and 1846. Ted spent his childhood in California and Washington, graduating in 1944 from John Swett Union High School, Crockett, California. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in San Francisco, serving as an electronics technician aboard the USS Hilary P. Jones DD 427. Action was seen in the Pacific Theater. His ship was present in Tokyo Bay when the peace treaty was signed aboard the USS Missouri in 1945.

After his discharge in May of 1946, he married his high school sweetheart, Yvonne Preisser, of Tormey, California, and recently celebrated their 72nd anniversary. They attended UC Berkeley, living in university housing in Albany, California. Ted graduated in 1950 with the first chemical engineering class from UC. Two children were born during his college years.

Ted worked 18 years for Allied Chemical as a production manager for various industrial chemical plants. The family, which now included three more children, moved to many cities across the U.S. during those years: Pasco, Washington, Parma, Ohio, Hudson Heights, Quebec, Canada, and Green River, Wyoming.

In 1970 they moved again to Tigard, Oregon, when Ted went to work for Oregon DEQ. He was now a Registered Professional Engineer in both Wyoming and Oregon. In 1972 he was employed as the first Chemical Engineer for Pacific Power and Light, and later became the head of the Environmental Dept. Moving to West Linn, Oregon, in 1978, the family became active in the community. He served on the city council from 1983 to 1984. Ted retired in 1990 from PacifiCorp. Time for travel was now available.

Membership in Trinity Lutheran Church in Oregon City gave him much pleasure and many opportunities to serve in various offices. Ted and Yvonne chose to serve “Laborers for Christ” for three years – their greatest memory was helping to re-build the Good Earth Lodge at Camp Lutherhaven in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Living in their motor home was a new experience.

He greatly enjoyed fly fishing in the many streams in the Northwest. He and Yvonne were long-time square dancers, being associated with the Rivergate Stompers. Gardening was also one of their interests, and he and Yvonne became OSU Extension Master Gardeners. He was an avid reader, so volunteering at the West Linn Library fit into his lifestyle also.

In 2014 Ted and Yvonne moved to a cottage at Hillside Retirement in McMinnville, Oregon, and have been enjoying independent living with numerous activities on the campus. He especially enjoyed tending a big garden in the community garden there. They became active members of St. John Lutheran Church in McMinnville.

His greatest love centered on his five children. He is survived by his wife, Yvonne of McMinnville; his children, Theodore M. Phillips (Peggy) of Carriere, Mississippi, Gail A. Brinkmann (David) of  Albion, Illinois, Gretchen Richardson (John) of Gladstone, Oregon, Paul V. Phillips (Nancy) of Tigard, Oregon, and Andrea Scofield of Eugene, Oregon; son-in-law, Ray Scofield of West Linn, Oregon; 19 grandchildren; and 27 great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, April 17, 2021, at St. John Lutheran Church, 2142 N.E. McDonald Lane, McMinnville, with a reception following. Interment will be at Willamette National Cemetery in Portland. Ted was a WW II veteran and enjoyed being a member of the local  Band of Brothers.

Memorial contributions may be made to St. John Lutheran Church or to Camp Lutherwood Oregon, 22960 Hwy. 36, Cheshire, OR 97419. To leave online condolences, visit


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