Phillip Ray DeHart, age 61, passed away Thursday, May 24, 2018 at his home in Temecula, California, presumably of a heart attack. Born July 21, 1956 on a small farm in Rowan County Kentucky, he was the only son and youngest child of Eulamae DeHart and the late Francis Curtis DeHart, both of Morehead.
He attended Elliottville and Morehead Grade schools and Rowan County High School. He decided to leave high school to marry and join the U.S. Air Force but later completed his education and received his high school diploma in Romulus, Michigan, where he lived and worked for several years. Phillip possessed a strong work ethic and a heart of compassion; he would lend a hand to anyone who ask or whenever he saw a need he could supply.
In the summer of 1981, he moved to southern California and eventually started Precision Landscape and Maintenance, his business in Oceanside, California, which he ran for many years until health issues forced his retirement; he loved the California weather and being outdoors. His long-time clients came to respect and love him as family.
He loved to play games, especially the card game “Spoons”, a family favorite of which he was the champ! Bowling and family pool were other favorite pass times. He was an excellent shot with a twenty-two rifle and won bicycles several years in a row at the San Diego County Fair in Del Mar, California. His wonderful sense of humor and beautiful smile will be fondly remembered as will his strong faith in and love of God, family and country.
Phillip was a most loving son, dad, brother, husband and friend, but he also identified with being a child of God - Not Perfect, Just Forgiven. He held a strong belief in and much knowledge of the Christian Bible and was always ready to share the love of God and the gospel of Jesus Christ with anyone who would listen or when he believed he was called to do so. When visiting family in Morehead, he often worshiped with the members of the Johnson First Church of God.
A man with a tender and loving heart, especially toward his mom from whom he first learned of the love and hope of Jesus, he leaves a huge void that will never be filled but by the love and grace of God.
Besides his ninety-year-old mother, he is survived by his second wife of 35 years, Tamara DeHart, and their four surviving children: two sons, Jonathan DeHart (Erika) of Carlsbad, CA and Daniel Ray DeHart (Hannah) Temecula, CA, and two daughters, Phillisha and Nicole DeHart of Temecula, CA. He was preceded in death by their two daughters Tiffany and Michelle DeHart.
In addition, from his first marriage to Kathy Skaggs, (deceased) of Romulus, Michigan, he leaves behind his two daughters Brandy Towler (John) of Florida and Heather DeHart of Michigan. There are also five surviving sisters who live in Kentucky: Jeanie Williams of Winchester, Lowone Carolyn White of Salyersville, Jewell Fay Hunter and Susan York both of Morehead and Loretta Cole of Clearfield, nine grandchildren and one great-grandson. Also, remaining are nieces and nephews Angela Faith White, David Paul York, Claudia Strange, Karen Adams, Nathan Hunter, and Aaron DeHart, as well as a maternal great uncle Walter Gee (Martha) of Arizona and many, many cousins and friends.
Furthermore, he was paternal nephew of the late William Dehart of Morehead, Otis and Reba Caudill of Olive Hill, Richard and Katie Goodman of Morehead, Estill Hamilton, and maternal nephew of Lucy Bowling of London, Louise Easterling of Clearfield, and Oscar, Edward and Virgil Gee.
Although the desire is to celebrate his life and focus on wonderful memories of him, hearts are heavy as he will be sorely missed by his family and all who knew him.
A funeral service was held at England Family Mortuary in Temecula, California Thursday, June 7, 2018 from 4:00-7:00, after which the family there lovingly gifted his remains for transport to his family here in Kentucky.
A Celebration of Life service will be held in Morehead, Kentucky at the DeHart Family Cemetery, Trent Ridge Rd on Saturday, June 16, 2018 at 1:00 PM. Michael R. Gray Funeral Home is graciously handling the arrangements for the graveside service. Those who want to partake in the funeral procession will meet briefly at Michael R. Gray Funeral Home, 808 Old Flemingsburg Rd, Morehead, KY at 12:00 noon. Anyone wishing to attend to share in celebration of Phillip’s life is welcome, and if you need more information, please call Michael R. Gray Funeral Home of Morehead.
Full military rites will be conducted at the graveside by the Corbie Ellington American Legion Post No. 126.
Pallbearers are Daniel Russell, Robert Russell, David York, Logan York, Jonathan Dehart and Karen Adams.
There are no expectations of flowers or gifts but if you have the need to express your love and respect for him or condolences for the family, please, in lieu of flowers, make donations to the Phillip DeHart Memorial Fund/Susan York, c/o The Citizens Bank 216 Kroger Shopping Center, Morehead, KY 40351, or an agency to fund research for the cure of diabetes and/or heart disease. Any support will be appreciated and acknowledged, unless given anonymously or privacy is requested.