Phil Stark, age 73

Deanna L. Finn

Phil Stark, age 73, Cottonwood, S.D., died on Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018, at his home.
Philip Tex “Phil” Stark was born May 16, 1944, in Bishop, Calif., the son of Tex and Hazel (Wall) Stark. At the age of five, he moved with his family to Philip, where he grew up and received his education, graduating from Philip High School. 
After his graduation, he entered the United States Navy serving as a nuclear submariner. During that time, he met JoAnn Gibson in Charleston, S.C. They were married June 17, 1967, in Escondido, Calif. They made their home in various places where Phil was stationed. Phil was honorably discharged on May 1, 1984, as a senior chief petty officer, after 20 years of service. 
After his military career, they moved to Denver, Colo., where they ran a mini-storage facility. In May of 1985, they moved to Cottonwood, where they owned and operated JoAnn’s Trading Post and Bar. In 2000, they sold the Trading Post and Bar, and moved to Las Vegas, Nev., where they managed 500 mini-storage units. In July 2008, they moved back to Cottonwood, where they retired, and have since resided.
During Phil’s military career, he earned the Navy Achievement Medal, Good Conduct Medal with two Bronze Stars, and the National Defense Service Medal. He was very proud of earning the US-ROC Mutual Defense Commemorative Badge for contributions to the Republic of China (Taiwan) in its defense of freedom and democracy between 1974-1975. This was presented by Governor Dennis Daugaard on Aug. 14, 2017, in Pierre.
Survivors include his wife of 50 years, JoAnn, Cottonwood; a daughter, Cyndi Wallace and her husband, JR; a brother, Doug Stark; four grandchildren, Mike and Kathie Trover, Brandie Lauffer, Steven and April Johnstone, and Dustin and Brian Kelly; seven great-grandchildren, Alexa, Jordan and Kaci Trover, Leila Johnstone, Madyson Kelly, TJ Hamilton and Kaylee Robertson; and several nieces and nephews. 
Phil was preceded in death by two daughters, Deborah Kay Schoonover and Teresa Hill; his parents; and a sister-in-law, Nancy Stark.
Military graveside services will be held at 12:00 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 8, at the Black Hills National Cemetery near Sturgis with Dr. William Meirose officiating.
A reception will follow the service at the Robinsdale Lounge in Rapid City.
Arrangements are with Rush Funeral Home of Philip.

The Pioneer Review

221 E. Oak Street
Philip, SD 57567
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