- About Us
Donald Dean McPhailSeptember 26, 1935 ~ March 13, 2019 (age 83)
Donald “Dean” McPhail passed from this life to the next on Wednesday, March 13, 2019. He was 83 years, 5 and ½ months old and his heart quietly stopped after a trip to the Ashland Health Center Emergency Room with chest pain.
He was born on September 26, 1935 in Clark County, Kansas to Harry and Emma (Hoffman) McPhail. Dean was the second of six children, Robert McPhail, Judith (McPhail) Brown, Clifton McPhail, Curtis McPhail, and Charles McPhail. He was preceded in death by his parents and brothers Robert and Curtis.
With the exception of his time in the Airforce, he lived in Clark County all his days. Dean did his Basic Training in San Antonio, Texas at Lackland Air Force Base and was stationed at Lincoln Air Force Base in Lincoln, Nebraska where he was a crew chief. He served from April 30, 1957 to April 29, 1963. When he was discharged, he moved his family back to Ashland, Kansas.
Dean married Verna Mae Merry on April 12, 1958 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church and they celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary surrounded by family and friends at a family reunion in May 2018. It was their joy to raise five children and was made even better by their children’s marriages. The children and their spouses include: Bobby Jude McPhail and Davine, Donald Wayne (Butch) McPhail and Barbara, Debbi Lynn (McPhail) Messer and Phil, Susan Elizabeth (McPhail) Lacy and Kelly, and Michael Lee McPhail and Carisa. As the family grew, they learned that twelve grandchildren brought even more joy. The grandchildren are Joseph McPhail, Cassandra (McPhail) Rhymer, John McPhail, Mark McPhail, Nichole (Messer) Smith, Jessica (Messer) Yourdon, Heidi (Messer) Hoskins, Courtney (Messer) Dieker, Logan Lacy, Megan (Lacy) Kelly, MaKayla (McPhail) Johansen, and Justin McPhail. At the time of Dean’s death, he and Verna have been blessed to welcome thirty-three great-grandchildren and are expecting their thirty-fourth in June.
Attending and graduating from Ashland Public Schools provided life-long friends and many wonderful memories for Dean. He loved to talk about the undefeated football season he and his classmates enjoyed when he was a senior. He attended the old Ashland High School and graduated in 1953. His class gathered for reunions for many years and stayed in contact.
Dean was a gifted mechanic and craftsman. He worked a variety of jobs beginning when he was nine years old. He started out washing parts and loved working with his hands. He served as a jet mechanic in the Air Force, worked for Clark County’s road maintenance, and provided top notch service at several of the Ashland gas stations when they ran full-service drives. Dean and Verna opened McPhail Upholstery & Repair on April Fool’s Day 1970. He also farmed, growing alfalfa for years and loved the time he spent in the hay field. In September of 1982, they purchased Wesner Furniture and changed the name to McPhail Interiors. Dean retired in 1995 and ran the household while Verna continued to work until 2007 and they shared many happy years sharing the home that Dean grew up in.
Dean loved his family and especially delighted in the babies. Dean was a member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church and a member of the Veterans of Foreign War Post #7770.
Christian Youth Camp
P.O. Box 355, Ashland KS 67831
Willard Aldridge VFW Post 7770 Auxiliary
P.O. Box 303, Ashland KS 67831
St Joseph's Catholic Church
P.O. Box 577, Ashland KS 67831