Phillip Cearley

April 7, 1942 ~ May 9, 2022 (age 80)


Phil Cearley, AKA "Pops, Dad, Grampa, GGPa" passed away May 9, 2022, in Corpus Christi, TX, at the age of 80. Phil was born in Modesto, CA and grew up in Patterson, CA. His parents, Odell and Mildred Cearley moved from GA to the central valley of CA where they bought an apricot orchard and raised Phil and his sister Cathy.

Phil attended Rising Sun Elementary School and Patterson High School. Following graduation, he attended Modesto Junior College and shortly after, became one of "The Few, The Proud" upon joining the U.S. Marine Corps. After basic training in San Diego and Camp Pendleton, CA, Phil served his country overseas in such locales as Okinawa and the Philippines.

Following his service, he joined the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Office as a Deputy Sheriff. There he met his first wife, Marilyn whom he married in 1966. Following the birth of his son, Phil Jr., he turned in his badge for a slightly more benign occupation, a telephone lineman! This allowed him to spend more time with his new family, including his stepson Tony. He eventually stayed with PacBell/ATT for 34 years where he worked a variety of positions including residential and pay phone installation and repair. He always stated the best part of his job was when he was able to repair and restore someone's phone service. He was a true "man of the people" and enjoyed working in many of the underserved areas of town.

Phil really enjoyed riding dirt bikes, camping, skiing, reading, collecting knives, square dancing, taking family road trips, and spending countless fun times with family and friends. He met his second wife, Deeda in 1985, and they married in 1991. They relocated back to Patterson to Phil's childhood home after his mother's passing in 1997. There, they hosted many family functions. Summer visits from any and/or all of their grandkids and great grandkids were always a highlight, and holidays were often topped off by a huge bonfire. Kayak trips in the canal, driving instruction in the fields, and walking his beloved mutts around the property were always a favorite.

Phil retired in 2001, and together, he and Dee enjoyed traveling and visiting family and friends far and wide. Following their love for sun and sand eventually led Phil and Dee to relocate in 2018 to the warm beaches of North Padre Island in Corpus Christi, TX. There they continued their travels and hosted family and friends at their beach condo. Most enjoyable, probably, were the daily walks on the beach with their longtime canine companion, Queenie. Phil loved life and enjoyed himself right up until his passing!

Phil is survived by his wife Deeda; son Phil Jr. (Heidi); stepdaughters Wendy Piker (Greg) and Tammy Navarrete (Luis); grandchildren Hunter, Hadley, Hutton, and Harper Cearley, Michael King (Tasha), Scott and Leslee Piker, and Terry Zellars; great grandchildren Chase, Baylee, and Wyatt Hall.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Odell and Mildred Cearley, and sister Catherine Gibb. Celebration of life to be held this summer at a location in the central valley of CA - details to be announced at a later date.

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