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Phil Hurst (1946-2016)


Posted By: Volunteer (email)
Date: 9/4/2016 at 13:05:21

Phil Hurst

June 24, 1946 - September 2, 2016

Philip LeRoy Hurst was born on June 24, 1946 to Helen Ardell Clark and Albert Eugene Hurst in Cherokee, Iowa. At the age of 5, he moved with his family to Greenville, Iowa. He graduated from Greenville Rossie High School and began college at Iowa State University where he spent the best three years as a sophomore. He was drafted into the Army in 1969 and was deployed to Vietnam. While in Vietnam, he served his country well. He earned two Purple Hearts, the Army Commendation Medal, the Bronze Star, and the Air Medal. Once he was honorably discharged, he returned home to Spencer. Phil tried to return to school, but two bouts of malaria stalled his plans. He eventually attended Buena Vista University and also worked as a magistrate judge. After his graduation from BVU, he got a job at the Clay County Auditor's office.

He married Cheryl Beck on July 28, 1973. He was an amazing husband and told Cheryl several times a day how much he loved her. He would often tell people that he married way above his pay grade, but it was really Cheryl who benefited from his constant love and attention! Phil and Cheryl had two children; John in 1976 and Sara in 1980. John is married to Regina Giardino, a stay-at-home-mom, and Sara is married to David Schmidt, a fourth grade teacher here in Spencer. Phil loved both families, especially their children. Anybody that knew Phil knew he loved to brag about his children and grandchildren. He was proud of the fact that John graduated from West Point, and Sara became a surgical nurse. The thing that made him the proudest was seeing his children become parents and watching them raise three amazing children that he loved dearly.

In 1980, he was named the Clay County Auditor and held that position until March of 1999; he then became the manager of the Clay County Fair until his retirement in 2011. During his careers as auditor and manager of the fair, he was instrumental in the remodeling of the courthouse, construction of the Clay County Administration Building, and the Governmental Services Center. At the Clay County Fair, he enjoyed working on the planning and development of the Regional Events Center, the Livestock Pavilion, Dish Plaza, and closest to his heart was Grandpa's Barn.

More importantly, he loved spending time with his family. He especially enjoyed his grandchildren. He looked forward to spending time with Sam and Kael here in Spencer and every trip to San Antonio to see Hazel. His grandchildren affectionately called him Papa Toons because of the many Looney Toons movies he would watch with them. He was very fortunate to have a close relationship with his brothers and sisters. He could often be seen riding around Arnolds Park with them in his golf cart.

Another big part of his life was spent watching 'his' eagles that nested just a bit north of Spencer. He was really excited this summer to watch their two eaglets. One of his last conversations was an extensive discourse about eagles and other birds and where to find them.

Phil absolutely hated winter and cold weather, and he realized that with all of his health issues that he probably wasn't going to have a very long life. He always said, 'If I live all the way through a cold winter and then die at the beginning of summer, I will be so mad.' Well, he made it through a pretty tough winter this year and what a summer he had! A visit from John and his family from Texas, several fajita parties at the cabin, visits from his extended family, and a recent purchase of a boat. He loved the boat rides this summer and was so proud of finally getting a tan!

During Phil's health problems, he could count on the constant support and help from Dr. Hunziker, Dr. Witt, and Dr. Santella. During his stay at St. Luke nursing home, he was fortunate enough to gain back his physical strength with the help of their excellent staff. He was very grateful to these doctors and their expertise and all the healthcare teams.

Phil loved gospel music and would often sing (rather terribly) such songs as Standing in the Need of Prayer and Gone, Gone, My Sins Are Gone. We have the assurance as Christians that he is in Heaven having a great time.

He was preceded in death by his sister, Marcia; and his parents.

Left to cherish his memory are his wife, Cheryl; his son, John (Regina) Hurst and granddaughter, Hazel of San Antonio, Texas; his daughter Sara (David) Schmidt and grandsons, Sam and Kael of Spencer, Iowa; his sisters and brothers: Dianne of Cookeville, Tennessee; Steve (Connie) Hurst of Arnolds Park, Iowa; Joel (Debbie) Hurst of Spirit Lake, Iowa; and Joyce (Lane) Muckey of Moneta, Iowa; many nieces, nephews, relatives, and friends.

Memorial Services will be 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, September 7, at the Hope Reformed Church, Spencer, Iowa.

Military Services will be conducted by the American Legion - Glen Pedersen Post #1 and The Clay County V.F.W.

Pastor Russell Muilenburg

Honorary Bearers
His Son - John
His Grandchildren - Sam, Kael and Hazel
His Son-in-law - Dave

Phil's wish was to be cremated.


Clay Obituaries maintained by Kris Meyer.
WebBBS 4.33 Genealogy Modification Package by WebJourneymen

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