Phillip G. Robison, born May 3, 1923, when the first train arrived in Fillmore. Grandpa always told how his parents, Albert & Dora Carling Robison, were upset as they were missing the city’s celebration. Grandpa was raised in Flowell, Utah with his 11 siblings. He rode the horse to attend school until the days of the school bus. He and a few of his friends happily loved to place firecrackers under the wheels to scare the driver. When he wasn’t attending to chores, he played with his older brothers on the farm, practicing their basketball skills with a makeshift basket fashioned by nailing an old bottomless wood bucket to a post. This is where his love for sports was born.
Phil attended Millard High School, where he excelled in basketball and tennis. After graduating in 1941, Grandpa went to further his education at Dixie Jr. College in St. George. At Dixie, he continued playing basketball and tennis. In 1943, his education was interrupted, and he was drafted into World War II. From 1943-1946, he served as a medic in the Army. Grandpa told us of being on a small vessel, sailing from the Philippines to the coast of California. He said that he never thought he’d make it. He was so sick on the voyage and felt he was not meant to be on the sea. While he was serving, he was able to visit many places in Europe and Asia and was proud to be of service to his country. Although, Grandpa had been to many places, he finally got his chance to visit Washington D.C. in 2014 with his brother, Floyd and nephew, Dennis on an Honor Flight created just for veterans. It was here that he was awarded a medallion for his service in WWII.
After Phil arrived home from the war, he enrolled at Brigham Young University. Here he found his first love, Mary Jean Laabs. Mary Jean and Phil were married September 7, 1946 in Boise, Idaho. A week later their marriage was solemnized in the Salt Lake City LDS Temple. This union brought 5 children to love and many adventures. After losing his dear Mary Jean in 1983, he found another great love, Viola Jean Overson. Phil and Jean were married June 9, 1984, in the Provo LDS Temple. Jean left this earth in 2013 after the two of them had many wonderful experiences.
While attending BYU, Phil ran track and found that he had a knack running fast. This was the beginning of a lifelong, love for the sport. Grandpa gained his degree at BYU, in Physical Education and Coaching, with minors in Health, Driver Education, and History. Phil’s unwavering loyalty to the Cougars was nothing to mess around with. He wore his blue proudly, especially the day after a win.
Phil graduated and began his teaching career in Oak City. He enjoyed the community and even joined a softball team. It wasn’t too long however, before the opportunity arose to fly home to his roots of Millard High School. Grandpa was well known for teaching Drivers Ed. and History. There wasn’t a student that didn’t make it through to graduation without having Coach Robison as their teacher. Grandpa coached basketball, leading the Eagles to State Championships. Phil also coached Track and Field. He continued to assist coaching even long after he retired. Phil hosted his own track meet each year and invited numerous schools from all over to attend; he loved watching the students excel. Coach Robison taught for 38 years and coached for 34 of those years. Phil enjoyed being an announcer for sports that he was not coaching, such a wrestling. He announced each match for 35 years, becoming a voice many recognized. These years resulted in Phil earning the Super Fan Award of Utah High School Activities Association in 2003, Utah Sports Hall of Fame in 2012, and many, many more.
Phil could be seen behind the scenes of many of the community’s events as well as serving in many capacities in his faith, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He was awarded the President’s Volunteer Service Award by President Obama. In 2014, Grandpa was honored to be chosen as the Grand Marshall for Fillmore City. A few years prior to that, he was honored as Days of Old West Rodeo’s Grand Marshall. Phil never sat on the side lines. He could be found atop his horse trotting down the parade route. Phil was a member of the East Millard Riding Club, serving as President for many years. He traveled around the state competing each summer with his youngest daughter, Vicki. The two of them were a force to be reckoned with as their main event was Pairs Pleasure; matching horses, attire, and gait.
Phil passed on Christmas Day, 2020, at the age of 97. Grandpa will be greatly missed by his family: children, Evelyn (Leroy) Parker, Lloyd (Pamela) Robison, Vickiann (Gail) Mitchell, Bruce (Mary) Robison, Robin (Jerilyn) Robison, his 11 granddaughters, 11 grandsons, and 60 great grandchildren. He is also survived by his siblings, Floyd Robison, Elaine Scott, & Dale (Sharon) Robison. Preceding him in death are his lovely parents, his siblings, Clark, Max, Marion, R.L. Robison, Evelyn Runswick, Katherine Smith, Lyle Robison, and Norma West.
Services, January 2, 2021, will be limited to family at this time due to COVID-19 restrictions. Graveside service will be held at Fillmore Cemetery, Saturday January 2, 2021, around Noon, everyone welcome. In lieu of flowers, please donate to Millard High Athletics or BYU Athletics, Grandpa’s favorite teams, in his name. The funeral will be streamed at 11:00 on Saturday, January 2, 2021 at https://youtu.be/eviSDp01MW0. Online condolences can be offered at www.olpinstevensfunerahome.com.
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