He was a rural mail carrier in York County and a member of the Nebraska National Guard. Before going into active service in the Army in 1960. He was 26 years active duty as a helicopter and fixed wing pilot. He served two tours of duty in the Vietnam War, first year as a medivac pilot and second year as a Cobra fighter pilot. Medals and decorations he received during his time of service include Senior Army Aviator Wings, Air Medal with 14 oak leaf clusters, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm, Bronze star, Army Commendation Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, National Service Medal with one oak leaf cluster, Meritorious Service Medal.
After retiring from the Army, he sold residential real estate in Virginia for 15 years. He enjoyed fishing off-shore for tuna and golfing with his grandsons and son.
Left to cherish his memory are his daughter Cassandra (Cindy) Richardson, and husband Bill of Gloucester, Virginia, loving daughter-in-law Susan Philson Sullivan of Enola, PA; five grandchildren Jennifer (Shane) Albert of Dillsburg, PA; Ashlei (Keith) Harris of Colorado Springs, CO; Corina (Steve) Souder of Chambersburg, PA; Shane Richardson of Gloucester, VA; Brett (Sarah) Richardson of Gloucester, VA; eight great grandchildren Ayden, Savannah, and Alexandra Albert; Oryan and Lena Harris; Emily Souder; Henry and Marjorie Richardson; and a brother Clinton (Ann) Philson of York; along with many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 63 years, Lavonna (Graff), his son Scott Wayne Philson, his parents Ernest and Francel Philson, brother Myrvan Philson, and sisters Gen Johnson and Gwen Ogden.
A memorial service will be held at 10:00 am, Friday, August 18, 2023 at Metz Mortuary in York, NE. Inurnment with military honors will follow at Greenwood Cemetery, York. A celebratory luncheon will be held at York Country Club immediately following services. Donations can be made to: Wounded Warrior Project, PO Box 758516, Topeka, Kansas 66675-8516.