In Memory of
Phillip Lee Houlton, Jr
August 28, 1973 – January 20, 2019
I am saddened to inform you of the sudden passing of a great young Club Member, Phillip Lee Houlton, Jr on Sunday 01/20/2019, after spending the day with his wife and son at the CRGC.
I will defer to his wife Kathryn for more details or if she wants an email announcement or inclusion in the minutes about arrangements for this coming Saturday. She is on CC.
Or rather, will send you an email when the obituary is ready, so then if you could please send out an email blast to all Club Members about the Celebration of Life Saturday 01/26/2019 at Harrell Funeral Home 4435 Frontier Trail, Austin, TX 78745.
Phillip Lee Houlton, Jr, 45, was born on August 28, 1973 in St. Clair, Michigan. He passed away unexpectedly Sunday, January 20, 2019, in Austin, Texas. He is survived by Kathryn Buck Houlton, wife, Phillip Lee Houlton, III, son, and sisters Shelrie Houlton and Shannon Hungerford.
Phillips early childhood was spent traveling the world with his family, accompanying his father on international construction projects. He lived the majority of his life in Texas, graduating from high school in Burnet. He then entered the United States Air Force and served six active duty years. He attended Southwest Texas State University, while being a reservist in the U.S. Air Force, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science. He worked for the City of Austin for fourteen years. While working for the City, Phillip enlisted in the United States Coast Guard Reserves and later attended Officer Training School. During his time in the U.S. Coast Guard, Phillip took part in Deep Water Horizon and Hurricane Sandy Relief. Phillip retired from the U.S. Coast Guard with twenty years combined service, as a Lieutenant. Phillip continued serving the City of Austin until his passing.
Phillip was a member of the Masonic Lodge of Texas being a Master Mason. He was a member of the Capitol Rod and Gun Club and spent many years volunteering on the Youth Committee. Phillip was an avid outdoorsmen enjoying kayaking, hunting, camping and simply spending time with friends, family and enjoying life.
A visitation with family will be held at 1pm Saturday, January 26, 2019 and the Celebration of Life will begin at 2pm. Reception to follow.
In lieu of flowers, we ask that you consider a donation to Veteran Outdoors, an organization that Phillip dearly supported.
My Words for My Friend
“Phillip was a good man. Father. Husband. Son, Brother. Friend, a great friend to all, just look around. He had a huge heart and touched so many lives. Philip had so many friends and he was good at making ’em and just meeting good people. Some of my closest friends now, I met through him.
But, Phillip was my best friend.We did so many things together. We got married around the same time, we started our families at the same time. We vacationed together, and celebrated holidays. We did everything together.
We lived together as roommates in 3 different houses. We have cabins next to each other on Lake Travis at the Capitol Rod & Gun Club.
I got him into Club and the Delta Tau Delta Fraternity. He got me into the Masons.When he went off to be deployed for his Coast Guard duties, I would go and live with him for a week wherever he was… from New Orleans to New York. And then our wives would come down and spend the weekend with us.
Yes, Phillip loved and served his Country. Yes, Phillip was as good of a Texan as any Texan could strive to be. But Phillip also loved Mexico. I don’t know how many times he and I went there together. No clue. The little town of Acuna, across the river from Del Rio, that was his favorite. PJ and Colt even wrote a song together about their trips to Acuna.
Philip loved country music. And Texas Country, Willie, Robert Earl Keen the greats, as you will hear piped in here today. And lucky for him… he as a good dancer. He and I went around this entire state going to dancehalls and small town Summer Night festivals.
And yes, Phillip Sr was a Master storyteller, but Phillip had also been passed this skill and he too was certainly a Master of this oral tradition. He had a great memory and attention to details. He had his stories. He loved his stories. And he shared them as often as he could to whomever he could. And these stories showed what a great life that he lived… And how much he loved life and cherished his friends and family.Unfortunately, I am not near as good of telling stores. But I will tell you the story of how I met Phillip.
I met Phillip in when I was at Southwest Texas State University. My roommate, Ryan,was going to ACC and they had met Phil in a class together. Phil would call our apartment and I would take messages for my roomate. My roommate was very busy with work and school life and don’t think that he ever returned any of those calls. So one day, when he called, I answered the phone, I was like “Hey we are going to Dance Across on Thursday, why don’t you meet us there, Ryan might even be there, but we will be there with a big group of guys, you should come. We will be at this certain corner by the dancefloor”.Well, he came that night and we have been friends ever since. That was probably 95.
Anyhow, eventually, he replaced that roommate and he became my new roommate.
His mom and dad, sisters, family brought me in as one of their own. As did my family for him.
Phillip Lee Houlton, Jr, the second, United States Air Force Red Horse Division and on and on is what I sometimes called him. He wanted to belong and be a part of something. Something bigger than himself. He was involved in so many groups and organizations. He was always willing to help anybody anytime. He helped me so much and was a good builder and carpenter, skills that he honed in the Air Force Red Horse unit.
But above all Philip knew and loved God. He had immense faith. A relationship with the Lord. He was a good ole boy, small town… a country boy with good values and he was raised right. He is the only person that I have ever met that would pray before every single meal, before every offering of food before him. He always tended to do the right thing and make good decisions. On our adventures together and with buddies, he would make sure that we all got where we were going and were safe. All of that being said, I never got into more fights because of anybody. What’s right is right. He always stood his ground and never backed down.
Last Saturday night, we had dinner together, right across Ben White from here. My wife Jenny, had set up a surprise dinner With us, the Houltons, and the Malones. As for Jenny, this was a celebration of the anniversary of 20 years of her knowing both Phillip and Brian Malone.As it were at the time 20 years ago, when I showed up on my first date with my future wife, I brought along Phillip and Brian and 3 girls in tow that we had met on 6th St. on our way to my date. That made for an interesting date, but she stuck with me. But as we had this dinner last week, it was so good to talk and share stories and laugh. To just be together with our life long friends. Philip leaned over to Jenny and told her how he met Kat and Matt at the same corner of the dancefloor at Dance Across Texas. And Jenny said, “Well Phillip, then that’s your lucky spot!” Maybe so, but I too was lucky to have met him that night way back when.
Phillips passing last Sunday was so sudden and tragic that he was so young. Of course we all wish that we could have said goodbye (make things right, finalize things). But I had that night before with him that was so great, but not it is so much more special and I will always cherish that memory and all of our good times together.
Dear Kathryn and his fine young man of a son, Phillip Lee Houlton, the Third, you family means so much to us. All of us here are your extended family. Let us all keep the Houltons in our lives and in our prayers. And help them any way that you can. And help Lee know and grow and remember what a great man his Daddy really was.
Phillip is in a better place. He is with his Mom and Dad, whom he loved soo soo much. But he is here with us today.I know this because I have been talking to him this week. I have been doing all of the talking, but I know he can hear me.Let today be about remembering. And sharing and swapping stories. This is how my friend can be honored. Here among all of the people that he brought together today.I love you Phillip. Thank you.”