Bruce Duncan “Utah” Phillips died May 23 in Nevada City. He was 73.
A private burial service will be held today. A memorial service, open to all friends, will be held from 10 a.m. to noon, Sunday, June 1, at the Little League Baseball Diamond in Pioneer Park in Nevada City. In case of rain, the memorial service will be held at Miner’s Foundry Cultural Center in Nevada City. Meghan Cefalu, Unitarian Universalist pastor of Unitarian Universalist Community of the Mountains, will officiate.
Mr. Phillips was born May 15, 1935, in Cleveland, Ohio, to Edwin Deroger Phillips and Frances Kathleen Coates. He attended East High School in Salt Lake City. He served in the U.S. Army in Korea. He married Joanna Robinson on July 31, 1989, in Nevada City.
Mr. Phillips worked as a concert performer, archivist, dishwasher, warehouse-man, labor organizer, and raconteur. He was a member of IWW (Industrial Workers of the World); Traveling Musicians’ Union 1000; Grand Duke of Hobos; an honorary member of Dignity Village in Portland, Ore.; Mine, Mill and Smelters Union; Veterans for Peace; Peace Center of Nevada County; on the board of the Hospitality House; founder, Rose Tattoo; and an honorary member of numerous folk societies in the U.S.A. and Canada.
His hobbies included Egyptology; amateur chemistry; linguistics; history (Asian, African, Mormon and world); futhark; debate; poetry; Looney Tunes and action films; Little League baseball; hats; pickling; gardening; and cooking.
Mr. Phillips is survived by his wife, Joanna Robinson of Nevada City; son and daughter-in-law, Duncan and Bobette Phillips of Salt Lake City, Utah; son, Brendan Phillips of Olympia, Wash.; daughter, Morrigan Belle of Washington, D.C.; stepson, Nicholas Tomb of Monterey; stepson and wife, Ian Durfee and Mary Creascy of Davis; brothers David Phillips of Suisun, Ed Phillips of Cleveland, Ohio, and Stuart Cohen of Los Angeles; sister, Deborah Cohgu of Lisbon, Portugal; and grandson, Brendan Phillips of Salt Lake City, Utah.
He was preceded in death by his father, Edwin Phillips; mother, Frances Kathleen Coates; and stepfather, Sidney L. Cohen.
Memorial contributions may be made to Hospitality House, P.O. Box 3223, Grass Valley, CA 95945.
Arrangements are under the direction of Hooper and Weaver Mortuary in Nevada City.
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