Luther Bruce Philpott 1883-1986

Luther Bruce Philpott 1883-1986


Excerpts from his life given at his funeral November 13, 1986.

Luther Bruce Philpott 1883-1986

    Luther Bruce Philpott was born on April 14, 1883 in a small sod shanty near Danby Ness County, Kansas. He lived in a home without indoor plumbing or electricity.

    Living was very hard for the Philpott family. It took all of ones resources to survive. Luther Bruce grew up knowing what hard work was, and lived his life as a hard worker and dedicated husband and father. He always stood or sat tall and straight.

    After he completed a formal eight years of schooling, he obtained a job as a teacher in a small village school. He taught there long enough to earn enough money to put himself through Veternary School. After receiving his degree in Veterinary Medicine he went to Washington State and worked in the logging industry there for a few months. then went back to Kansas where he found work as a Vererinarian for the U.S. government.

    Luther was soon assigned to work out of a small town called Sterling, Utah. He boarded with a family by the name of Barton while he was there.

    The Barton family had a daughter named Mary. It must have been love aat first sight, because the first time he saw her, sitting a little crossways in a chair he remarked that he was going to marry her. He was right, as Mary Barton and he were married in Manti, Utah in 1906

    Once, while he was courting his future bride, he rented a horse and buggy to take her for a ride. He evidently didn't know a section of the road had been washed out in a storm as he lost control and the horse, buggy and all went crashing into Funk's Lake which was near where they lived. he managed to save Mary and himself but he lost the horse and buggy.

    He left the government job eventually and bought a small farm located at 181 West South First Street in Provo, Utah. He established a Veterinary practice there along with some farming. However, times were tough and too many clients couldn't pay their bills, so on April 6, 1925, he loaded up their old Model "T" ford touring car and headed for Los Angeles during a snowstorm.

    After several flat tires and other inconveniences they arrived in Los Angeles. In Los Angeles he took a job as a carpenter and worked in the building trade for a couple of years. All the time he was working as a carpenter, he had an application with the State of California for a Veterinarian position.

    In 1927 the State accepted his application and he was sent to Modesto California to train as a meat inspector; a job he held from 1927 until he retired at the age of 70 in 1953.

    As a meat inspector he was transferred from time to time, to cities all over California. During the last fifteeen years as a meat inspector he was a permanent relief inspector and was sent all over Northern California. Two of many towns he worked at was in San Jose and fort Bragg. As he had always dreamed of having a home someday to house his family in he bought a lot in Willow Glen in 1946. In subsequent years he bought two, two-story Army barracks in the de-commissioned Camp Parks at Livermore, tore them down and trucked the immense supply of lumber to his lot in Willow Glen. Later, while stationed at Fort Bragg, with the help of a 12 year-old granson, he cut and shaped all the redwood shakes for the roof and grape stakes for fencing. They came from discarded mill ends left in the forest by loggers. All this material he kept stored on their lot in Willow Glen.

    When he retired in 1953 he bought a new car and house trailer and Mary and he spent two years traveling all over the U.S. getting re-acquainted with relatives and friends. Over the years he had been making his plans for his dream home and they had been checked and refined by experts along the way and at 73 he started his dream home.

    Luther (Bruce) as Mary always called him spent the first year digging a full basement, thirty by forty feet by ten feet deep, using a wheel barrow and a shovel. It took him five and one half years to build his home and it was truly a labor of love, and with the exception of a little help with the rafters, flagstone fireplace and exterior stucco, he built it all by himself. He and his wife Mary moved into their home in 1963 where they spent a happy four years before Mary passed away in 1967.

    While building their home he somehow fell and broke his leg. He was so anxious to get on with the job that he took the cast off and hobbled around doing what he had to do. Another time he cut his hand quite badly with a power saw. After a visit to the doctor and getting stitched up, he went back to work and finished cutting up the wood before he finished for the day.

    At some time after Mary passed away, his daughter-in-law, Ruby came by one day and noticed smoke coming out through the roof. Bruce was sitting in the living room watching television. Ruby yelled (he was very hard of hearing at the time) at Bruce that his roof was on fire. After checking it out he discovered a swarm of bees had plugged up the chimney and the fire in the fireplace had no place to go but out of the roof. Luckily the damage was minimal.

    Even though his family had long grown up and moved away from home and was scattered all over the U.S. they have all stayed at one time or another in his dream home. Even though he was never able to express his love openly, Bruce showed his love to his family by always supporting them in whatever they wanted to do as they were growing up. Bruce was never a religious man but always made sure his children and Mary were able to attend all their church meetings and activities. He finally agreed to be baptized after he reached the age of 90.

    This remarkable man was a wonderful example for all who knew him.

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