RHD (Bob) Phillips
Robert Howard Daniel Phillips
(Bob) C.M., B.A., LL.D., F.A.I.C., P.Ag., Editor and Publisher of The Western Producer, Second World War Soldier, Journalist, Research Economist, Social Historian and Writer was born in Regina, Saskatchewan
, Canada December 3
and died at home in Saskatoon
on May 6
Bob Phillips was a true Saskatchewan boy. Growing up during the depression, the eldest of three sons of Whitman H Phillips, Regina building contractor, and Mayme Wilson, choir leader and pianist, he was educated at Davin School, Central Collegiate and Regina College. During the Second World War he served as a sergeant in the UK and Northwest Europe from 1941 to 45, and as the Secretary Manager of the Regina War Finance Committee. After the war he entered the University of Saskatchewan where he earned his Economics and Political Science degree and met his future wife, Tanyss Bell.
Bob always said that he had three careers – each 13 years long. He was a reporter with Canadian Press in Vancouver and Toronto, City Editor and Editorial Writer for the Regina Leader-Post
, and European Filing Editor with The United Press in London. His second career started when he became the first Research Director for the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool in Regina and then he moved to Saskatoon for his third career as the Editor and Publisher of The Western Producer
and the General Manager of Western Producer Publications. He led the conversion of the newspaper from hot to cold type and to computer layouts using colour offsets (all firsts in the industry in Saskatchewan and all done without labour disruption) and created several news bureaus. He also expanded and built Western Producer Prairie Books into one of the top 25 books publishers in Canada and led an expansion of Modern Press into the second largest printer in the province. At the same time as leading this expansion, he turned the division’s finances around—after losing money for 50 consecutive years, he posted nine successive profitable years. During this period he also wrote a weekly column and two books, Out West and Prairie Journal.
After retirement in 1987 Bob and Tanyss started Bell Phillips Communications and he was the author of 12 books and family histories, as well as numerous articles, columns and editorials for journals, newspapers and magazines. He was a member of The Royal Canadian Legion, Saskatoon Club, Canadian Institute of International Affairs, Kiwanis Club, and The Joel in Saskatoon. Bob and Tanyss enjoyed travel and time with family and friends and had just returned from visiting their son Peter and family in Italy where they are on sabbatical, and London one of their favourite cities.
Bob received an honorary LL.D. from the University of Regina, was a Member of the Order of Canada, a Fellow of the Agricultural Institute of Canada, and a Honorary Life Member of the Saskatchewan Institute of Agrologists as well as a recipient of the Saskatchewan Centennial Medal, the Royal Canadian Legion Meritorious Service Medal, the Queen Elizabeth Golden Jubilee Medal, and Citizen of the Century Award from the City of Saskatoon for his business and community contributions. At the U. of Regina, he was a member of the founding board of the Canadian Plains Research Centre, helped to found and served on the board of the School of Journalism, and was an elected member of the university senate for two terms. At the U. of Saskatchewan, Bob served as the citizen member on the Toxicology Research Centre board and served as an arbitrator for the collective agreement between the faculty and administration.
Bob was a lifelong communicant member of the Presbyterian Church of Canada where he helped to found one congregation and provided solid spiritual and administrative leadership in two congregations over 40 years. He was the first chairman of the board of managers of St. Stephens’ Presbyterian Church in Regina, leading the efforts to build and finance the church. He was elected elder, a position in which he served for more than 25 years in both Regina and in Saskatoon at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church. In addition, Bob served two terms on the Management Committee for the Presbyterian Residence in Saskatoon and served two terms on the Editorial Board and was contributing editor to the Presbyterian Record.
Bob is survived by his wife Tanyss (daughter of the late Peter and Della Bell); their son Robert Alexander (Sandy) Bell Phillips (http://www.elkhartbell.blogspot.com/ Elkhart Bell International
management consultant), wife Brenda, and their children Robert David Richard Kieran Phillips and Genevieve Tanyss Pride Kieran Phillips of Calgary; their son Peter Whitman Bell Phillips (http://www.usask.ca/politic/faculty/prof_pages/peter_phillips.php U of S professor
), wife Wanda, and their children Peter Alexander Bell Phillips and Andrew James Bell Phillips of Saskatoon; his brother W. Hugh Phillips (Joan) and their family in Kelowna; his brother’s wife Shirley (Wilson C Phillips 1925-2005) and her family in Lumsden and Calgary and Tanyss’ sister Betty Ball (Bob) of Salt Spring Island.
Bob Phillips lived to see the centennial of the province that he loved and that his father and grandfather homesteaded in 1905. He also celebrated the centennial of http://www.lumsdenbeach.com/Photos.htm Lumsden Beach
, the summer resort village that his parents helped establish and that Bob wrote about. It was at Lumsden Beach that he spent summers as a Regina boy and where he started his writing career. One of his most significant accomplishments is that his family still enjoys the same cottage that his father built years ago.Phillips, RHD (Bob)Phillips, RHD (Bob)