Phillip Glen Foltz was born July 13, 1937 to Grayce (Vanatta) and William Glen Foltz at the family home by his parents and older sister, Peggy. This farm was a few miles north and west of where Phil spent most of his adult life caring for livestock and the land. He spent most of his life in Ringgold County, even graduating with the Mt. Ayr class of 1955.
Phil was united in marriage at the First Christian Church in Mt. Ayr to his high school sweetheart, Pattie Jean Culver, on May 27, 1956. Phil and Pattie remained members of the First Christian Church and raised their family in this church. Pattie and Phil were truly soulmates. When first married, Pattie and Phil moved to Omaha, Nebraska where Phil worked as a secretary for a top executive at Union Pacific Railroad after receiving a junior accounting diploma from the Commercial Extension School of Commerce on August 8, 1956. Soon, their family began to grow with the birth of Cathy Jean on May 2, 1957. After 22 months, Phil knew he was not cut out for corporate life and listened to the farm calling him back to Mt. Ayr. The following year, on August 13, 1958, Pamella June was born. Ann Marie completed the family on October 17, 1970. Phil and Pattie opened their home to her nephew Ken Shelden, and nieces Sherry and Pati Shelden when her sister Mae passed away in 1972. The house and farm, four and one-half miles north of Mt. Ayr, might have been bursting at the seams with teenagers and a two-year old, but Pattie’s and Phil’s love showed in every inch of the house.
Growing up, Phil was a typical farm boy, actually starting country school a year early. His mother was afraid of him going to school his first year by himself, so she sent him to Edgewood Country School a year early so his older sister, Peggy, could get him there and back safely before she went to high school the next year. A neighbor, Darlene (Mrs. Eldon) Ricker was one of his teachers. Peggy said although Phil was generally under her feet, she did all she could do to protect him. Phil and Peggy have always had a very close relationship, continuing up to the time of his death.
Phil worked tirelessly. He was an avid list-maker and could pack a lot of work into one day. He was a true steward of the land. His passion for livestock and the farming way of life, spilled over in all he did. Over the years, his children, grandchildren, and son-in-law worked with Phil on the farm. Although this wasn’t always easy for them, they wouldn't trade that life experience for the world.
Always social, Phil never met a stranger and found he was quick to share the wisdom he had gained from the years on the farm. The family remembers him going to livestock sales and visiting with strangers wherever the family might be, including on vacation. He and Pattie belonged to several neighborhood social clubs and card clubs. Phil also loved music, especially the Gaithers. He and Pattie spent many, many happy hours “cutting the rug” at local dances. In addition, Phil was also quite active in the Ringgold County Cattlemen’s Association for several years. Phil’s biggest challenge came when his wife, Pattie, became ill. He became her loving caretaker and took gentle care of her until the very end, placing her glasses on her after she had taken her last breath.
Phil passed away on January 5, 2021. He was preceded in death by his parents; his always true and loving wife of almost 64 years, Pattie; his nephew, Ken Shelden; brothers-in-law Richard, Clarence, and David Culver; sisters-in-law Mae Shelden, Irene Culver, and Doris Culver; and brother-in-law, Wilbur Wagenknecht.
He is survived by his sister, Peggy Wagenknecht; his three children Cathy Foltz of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Pam (Clint) Poore of Mt. Ayr; Ann (Greg) Semrad of Galesburg, Kansas; as well Sherry (Larry) Adams of Mt. Ayr; and Pati (Clifford) Fried of Piedmont, California – nieces and nephew who became his “children” after the death of their parents, Pattie’s sister Mae and her husband Ray Shelden; grandchildren Caine Poore of Mt. Ayr, Iowa; Callie Poore of Denver, Colorado; Braydee Poore of Loveland, Colorado; Lane, Hunter, and Payton Semrad of Galesburg, Kansas; Sherry’s children Dustin (Renee) Adams of Gardner, Illinois; Shelly Adams of Dallas, Texas; Tara (Zac) Grandfield of Lorimor, Iowa; and Pati’s children Daniel Fried and Molly Fried of Portland, Oregon; and “great-grandchildren” Davida Jernigan of Mt. Ayr; Bryan Shields and June, Wyatt, and Jaxon Grandfield all of Lorimor, Iowa. Phil made a special effort to maintain a close relationship with cousins and nieces, and nephews. Even the land will miss Phil Foltz.
A memorial fund has been established in his name.
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