Phillip Otto Prey of Thatcher, Arizona passed away with family around him on May 3, 2021, at the age of 86. He was born on December 13, 1934, in Columbus, Wisconsin to Dale Martin Prey & Marie Elizabeth Prey.
Phil loved taking family vacations and traveling. He learned to bake at an early age and created beautiful (and delicious) pies and pastries during his time in the family bakeries. Holiday dinners with family and friends throughout his life always included a variety of breads, pies, cookies, cakes and other desserts.
Phillip had a sense of humor and would often have a witty remark when asked how he was doing. He loved life and enjoyed the tremendous beauties of this world. His love of learning and excitement for experiencing new things everyday brought joy to his loved ones.
After serving in the Navy during the Korean War, Phillip married his sweetheart, Alice Busby Prey, on February 14, 1957 and began pursuing a career path that would allow him to share his excitement and love of knowledge with those around him. He worked as an elementary teacher, including living and working on a Hopi Indian reservation and teaching in the Coachella Valley of California. Ultimately he was awarded his Doctorate in Education from ASU in 1975 and took a position as a professor at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia. He remained there until his retirement in 1997 when he and his wife moved to Thatcher, Arizona.
Phillip joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1962 and devoted the rest of his life to rolling up his sleeves and offering up his big heart to serve in a number of leadership positions including multiple assignments as a Branch President, Bishop and Stake President. Phil also served a mission with his wife in South Africa. He followed the Savior’s example in many things, but is often remembered for his beautiful ability to teach and inspire through parables and stories.
His life was very full of family, faith, laughter, and love. Throughout his life he truly earned the title ‘teacher’ with his family, in his church service, and in his career.
Phillip is preceded in death by his parents, Dale and Marie Prey and his sister, Elaine Manske.
He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Alice Busby Prey and their children Dale Prey, Lauri Avila, Brian Prey, and Alison Palmer. Phil and Alice have five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Phil is also survived by his brother, Donald Prey.
“For an old guy I’m doing pretty well!” - Phillip O. Prey
A public viewing will be held on Friday, May 14, 2021 at Caldwell Funeral Chapel from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Graveside services will begin at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 15, 2021 at Eden Cemetery, Eden Arizona.
Arrangements are under the direction of McDougal’s Caldwell Funeral Chapel and Gila Valley Crematory, 112 E. Main St. Safford, Arizona, 85546, 928-428-1740. Online condolences may be extended at www.caldwellfuneralchapel.com.
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