Duane Paul Phillips 69, longtime resident of Hilger, MT, died Tuesday afternoon, November 6th, 2018 of natural causes at the Central Montana Medical Center. Duane was born March 22, 1949 in Great Falls, Montana to David and Helen (Munski) Phillips. His family moved to Hilger when Duane was three years and he lived in Hilger for the remainder of his life. He attended numerous rural schools in northern Fergus county while his mother taught at those schools and he graduated from Winifred High School in 1967. After high school he took automotive and engine classes in Denver, CO and at Northern Montana College in Havre. He then worked as a mechanic for most of his life with some time spent in construction and truck driving.
Duane served as a member of the Army Reserve for several years. For 35 years he operated an independent business in Hilger, “Hilger Auto Dynamics”, before retiring in 2013. His business card stated that “we don’t work on anything that does not have the dimmer switch on the floor”.
Duane enjoyed working with his friends and his customers and there was rarely an automotive issue he wouldn’t take on. He was known for going out of his way to help others when there was need of his expertise. He enjoyed exploring the nearby mountains on his ATVs, especially the Kendell and Maiden areas, as both sets of grandparents came to this country as miners from Wales and Poland. Duane was especially attached to his uncles’ ranch in the North Moccasin Mountains near Kendall. He had great interest in, and substantial knowledge of, Central Montana history.
Duane is survived by his brother Tom (Elaine) of Hilger, Dwight (Kathy) of Bozeman, and sister Margaret (Len) Miller of Ephrata, Washington, as well as numerous nephews and nieces and numerous cousins, including his cousin Ken (Cindy) Munski of Lewistown with whom he shared many interests including working on older cars and trucks, Model A’s, and the Munski cabins in the Judith Mountains. In addition, Duane is survived by a legion of friends from the Hilger, Roy, Lewistown and Winifred area who were always willing to lend support.
No Services will be held for Duane Phillips as he requested. Cremation has taken place and committal will be in the Central Montana Memorial Gardens near his parents. The Cloyd Funeral Home is assisting the family.
The family asks that any memorials in his name be made to the Hilger Home Demonstration Club, for upkeep and improvements to the Hilger Community Garden or the charity of their choice and they may be left at the Cloyd Funeral Home. Condolences for the family may be posted online at www.cloydfuneralhome.com.
Duane’s family would like to express sincere gratitude to the Hospice of Central Montana staff for the excellent quality care he received.