Philip Donie Hall, born October 2, 1940 to Leo and Virginia Hall of Groves, TX, passed away April 19, 2014 in Cottonwood, AZ.
He graduated from Port Naches-Groves High School in 1958, where he played the saxophone in the marching band and the symphony. He joined the Marine Corps Reserves at the age of 17, where he served three years.
He received a B.S. in Political Science from Lamar University in Beaumont, TX in 1963. While a student, he married Nancy Nunnally and had a son, Philip Donie Hall, Jr.
Phil wore many hats during his life. After college, he worked for New York Life Insurance in New Orleans and Kansas City before heading off for adventures in Mexico and the west. On his return to the States, he went to Colorado to work on a ranch in Old Snowmass. He met Linda Johnson and had two children, John and Shyela. He lived with his family in Crested Butte for over 20 years, where Phil formed a tree planting company known as Rocky Mountain Trees.
In the years Phil lived in Crested Butte, he was instrumental in the forward movement of developing the EMS program and brought Advanced Life Support to the Crested Butte and was the first paramedic in the county.
He moved from Crested Butte to Bluff, UT in 1991, where he spent the next 15 years. He worked for Wild Rivers Expeditions and eventually started a Lefty’s Shuttle Service and also founded a newspaper The Canyon Echo.
Phil received a Governor of Utah’s Award for Excellence for a series of articles on the history of the Four Corners region.
Phil also founded Nizhoni Bridges, a non-profit foundation that promoted arts and humanities in the Four Corners region, especially for youth. From Bluff, he made a solo motorcycle journey through Central America to Panama and back.
He met Anna Schrenk in Bluff and moved to Oceanside, CA in 2007 where they worked on post fire rehabilitation projects and sailed. They married in May, 2010 in 29 Palms surrounded by family and friends. They began their life on the water that year, spending two years in the Gulf of California.
In 2012, they moved to Arizona to manage a program to remove non-native plant species from the Verde River watershed. Phil’s dream was to sail through the Panama Canal to the Atlantic starting this fall. This dream was cut short by his untimely death.
Phil leaves behind his wife Anna, children Donie, John and Shyela, grandchildren Summer, Lily, Avery, Owen, and Spencer, brother Les, sister Barbara, a large extended family and countless friends.
A life was full of adventure, rebellion, passion and 60 years playing the saxophone. Family joked that Phil was the “most interesting man in the world”. He will be missed and his stories will live on.
In lieu of flowers or gifts, donations may be made in Phil’s honor to Whitehorse High School’s music program P.O. Box 660, Montezuma Creek, UT 84534.