Philip Mullen, 84Philip Emmett Mullen, 84, died November 22, 2010, with his wife and daughter by his side, a year to the day that his daughter, Mary, passed away.
Philip Emmett Mullen, 84, died November 22, 2010, with his wife and daughter by his side, a year to the day that his daughter, Mary, passed away.
Philip was born April 19, 1926 in Douglas County, the oldest son of Richard and Florence (Wray) Mullen.
Philip lived in the Alexandria area all of his life and attended public schools in Alexandria. It was known that Philip attended one-half year of home economics classes in order to take typing classes the other half of the year. He and the girl students all got along fine as they sewed shirts and learned to cook. Philip played basketball during the noon hour and held a part-time job after school.
Philip’s choice was to work as a mechanic. He purchased a Model A coupe and managed to keep it in running order. The main problem he had was keeping the gas tank full. Phil was talented in using his large hands – he was skilled with either hand at assembling his choice of items such as fish locators or fishing rods. Reading was always a priority on his list and he could follow instructions easily. He would read anything he could get his hands on to learn how something was made or how it worked.
Philip was proud of his country. In 1946 he served 11 months at Camp Lee, VA. His wish while stationed there would have been to serve as a mechanic; instead he was assigned to type payroll checks. Philip thought the USA was the best place in the world to live and thought it was a privilege to live here.
In 1949 Philip decided the girl he’d met in high school was the one he should marry. He took marriage instruction from a priest at a small country church. On June 13, 1949 Phil was baptized in the Catholic faith. The following day he was united in marriage to Elaine Bruzek at the same church. Philip joined St. Mary’s Church in Alexandria and was confirmed there. Philip and Elaine were blessed with two daughters, Mary Colleen and Anita Kay.
Philip worked at Schirmer’s Gas Transport Company in Alexandria for nine years as a dispatcher and mechanic. Philip was never idle; in his spare time he repaired lawn mowers and small engines. He dreamed up and created iron artwork. Phil was never bored with life. He spent time restoring old gas engines. He also attended gas engine and threshing machine shows. He even ran his own shows for several years. Phil loved going to auction sales. He built his own snowplow and wood splitter out of junked parts. Whatever he put his mind to, he could accomplish.
Phil began working at the Alexandria Street Department in 1966. He worked there for 23 years. Phil took his work seriously and while working for the street department a touch of his Irish would show itself now and then. He was concerned that they would not be able to find six co-workers willing to carry him to his grave. He mowed grass in the summer, ran the snowblower in the winter and when help was needed at the maintenance shop, he was there.
Each year Phil would raise a large, weedless garden. He would try new seeds and broomcorn was one of his specialties. Phil even tried growing peanuts. Phil enjoyed going for drives. He also enjoyed snowmobiling and going fishing. Phil lived a very full life.
He was preceded in death by his parents; daughter, Mary Mullen; son-in-law, Dale Anderson; and brother, Eugene Mullen.
Phil is survived by his wife, Elaine, of Alexandria; daughter, Anita Anderson of Alexandria; stepgrandchildren, Maureen and Randy Winger and their children, Madalyn and Gage, Daniel and Kathy Anderson and their children, Jared and Trent; sister-in-law, Carol Mullen of Alexandria and her children, Michael and LaWanna Mullen, Patsy and Tom Waggoner and Lori and Ryan Hovey; brother-in-law, Verlyn and Mayvis Bruzek and their children, Stacy and Sandeepan Banerjee, Brenda and Bob Jespersen Jr. and Chad Bruzek; and many grand-nieces and nephews.
A Mass of Christian Burial was held Friday, November 26 at St. Mary’s Church in Alexandria. The Rev. Father Steve Binsfeld was the celebrant. Interment followed at St. Mary’s Cemetery. Casket bearers included Chad Bruzek, Brenda Jespersen, Michael Mullen, Patsy Waggoner, Lori Hovey and Paul Waggoner. Honorary casket bearers included all of Philip’s caregivers at Bethany Home.
American Legion Post 87, V.F.W. Post 936 and the Minnesota National Guard accorded military honors.
Arrangements are with Anderson Funeral Home in Alexandria; www.andersonfuneral.net.
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